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Some people have the misconception that pesticides are safe otherwise they would not be made available for use. However, consumers should remember that pesticides are toxic materials and although they are intended to kill pests, improper use can lead to even greater health and safety risks for the environment, people, pets, and other non-target animals.

Pesticides can be used in a safe manner and with proper use by a trained professional, the health and safety risks presented by pesticides to the environment, people, pets and other non-target animals are highly minimized.

In Hawaii, certified and/or licensed pesticide applicators must demonstrate knowledge, pass extensive written exams, and keep up to date on new techniques and methodologies.

Manufacturers of pesticides subject their products to a number of stringent tests before their products are made available for purchase. Based on their research and tests, they are able to determine specific and appropriate uses for the product, dosages for specific purposes, application rates, and other vital information. The labeling of pesticides plays a critical role for the applicator, providing him with the necessary information, which will allow him to use and apply the pesticides in a safe manner, minimizing the risks to himself, other people, and non-target animals.

The keys to remember are:
  • Pesticides can be used in a safe manner; AND

  • When used properly the risks to humans and other non-target animals is greatly minimized; BUT

  • Pesticides cannot be labeled as safe because (quite simply) they are toxic materials; AND

  • Although pesticides are intended to be toxic to pests, improper use can make them toxic to humans

  • It is important to find a certified/licensed pest control applicator; BECAUSE

  • Certified/licensed applicators are trained to use pesticides properly according to the pesticide label

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