All pesticides have some amount of risk. The lowest risk comes with using no pesticide(s) at all. You can minimize the need for pesticides by using integrated pest management techniques. If you already tried exclusion, sanitation, and other methods, you may have decided that a pesticide is necessary. If so, consider using the lowest risk pesticide products first and only using higher risk products when all other tactics have failed.
Low-toxicity pesticide products are labeled with a signal word of "CAUTION", rather than "WARNING" or "DANGER". No matter how toxic a pesticide may be, it's important to follow all of the label directions.
- You can reduce the risk by taking steps to keep the pesticide from being touched, inhaled or eaten by anyone in your household.
- Make sure your treatment works by selecting the right approach and the right product. Do your homework by learning about the pests in your area.
- You may be able to get free pest control advice from a Master Gardener or another local expert by calling your local Cooperative Extension Service or visiting their website. You can search for local offices and resources by clicking here.
- In the United States, minimum risk pesticides do not need to be registered by the EPA. There is no list of minimum risk pesticides available, but you can look for pesticides with these active ingredients and these other/inert ingredients.
- Low-risk pesticide recommendations may be available from some of the additional resources below. NPIC does not provide product recommendations.
If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (7:30am-3:30pm PST), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Resources on Low-Risk Pesticides
- 2012 Directory of Least-Toxic Pest Control Products published by the Bio-Integral Resource Center
- Less-Toxic Product List published by Our Water, Our World
- Minimum Risk Pesticides - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Pesticide Product Toxicity Ratings - Texas Cooperative Extension System