Lawn and Garden
Pests come in a variety of forms: weeds, insects, animals, molds, and fungi to name a few. Pesticides provide relief from many pests, but they are not the only solution to every problem. The need to control outdoor pests varies. Having some weeds in your garden, or some grubs in your lawn, may be more tolerable; however, certain pests present serious threats in some years. Some pests can damage human and animal health, such as mosquitoes that carry diseases.
The most effective strategy for controlling pests may be to combine methods in an approach known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that emphasizes preventing pest damage. In IPM, information about pests and available pest control methods is used to manage pest damage with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
Tip: Check with your state or county Cooperative Extension Service to determine what grass varieties and pest management methods are suitable for your climate and growing conditions. Grass varieties and pests vary widely across the U.S. Lawncare professionals may also be able to provide you with information.
Environmentally Friendly Practices
- EPA Healthy Lawn Care Practices (4 minute video)
- EPA Healthy Lawn Care Practices (11 minute video- extended version)
- EPA Healthy Lawn Care Practices: Testing Your Soil
- EPA Healthy Lawn Care Practices: Mowing
- EPA Healthy Lawn Care Practices: Watering
- EPA Healthy Lawn Care Practices: Weeds and Pest Control
- EPA Healthy Lawn Care Practices: Fertilizing
- EPA Healthy Lawn Care Practices: Aerate Your Soil
- EPA Healthy Lawn Care Practices: Controlling Run-off
- Green Scaping - The Easy Way to a Greener Healthier Yard brochure (16 pp, 2.0 MB, About PDF) - information on the landscaping practices that can improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden while protecting and preserving natural resources.
- "Greenscaping" Your Lawn and Garden (8 pp, 958k, About PDF).
- Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environment: Caring for Your Lawn in an Environmentally Friendly Way (19 pp, 5.4 MB, About PDF) - includes tips on working with nature to grow a health lawn while minimizing the use of pesticides.
Videos - Interested in learning more about healthy, environmentally friendly lawn and landscape practices? You can reduce erosion, stream sedimentation, flooding, runoff of pollutants into local waterways, and the risk of pesticide exposure to children, adults, pets, and wildlife. The following videos show lawn care practices that will reduce pesticide and nutrient risks to human health and the environment.
CCA, also known as Wolmanized wood, is used to prevent wood decay in itemes such as decks, fences and playground equipment.
- Consumer Saftey Information Sheet - Inorganic Arsenical Pressure-Treated Wood - information on the safer use and handling of CCA-treated wood.
- Use and Disposal of CCA-Treated Wood.
Using Pesticides Safely
To order printed versions of these publications online, contact National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP), 1-800-490-9198, fax: 301-604-3408.
Additional Tips on Reducing Runoff
The following links provide information that can help you conserve water and reduce runoff from your property that might contain pesticides or fertilizer if you use these products:
- Do’s and Don’ts Around the Home - Advice for implementing environmentally sound practices in and around your home. These practices will help to eliminate water pollution that is generated by many households.
- Urban Waters - Learn about runoff and other urban water issues affecting your community, what other communities are doing to protect their local waterways, and how you can help be apart of the solution to urban waters pollution.
- Examples of Methods to Prevent Urban Runoff - Tips to avoid contamination of water from runoff from lawns and other residential surfaces. These simple steps, as written by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, can reduce pollution and water contamination that is generated by your household.
- What you can do - to prevent nonpoint source pollution/urban runoff
Here you can find methods to eliminate pollution that is generated by urban storm water runoff, mining, forestry and agriculture.
- Managing Runoff-Related Pollution from Households - This page details information about pollution from water runoff and how you can use simple measures to manage it at the household level.
- Publications - on water conservation and pollution prevention
This page provides publications for EPA’s WaterSense program. These publications establish guidelines for water use in your household to decrease water consumption and protect the environment.
- Landscape Irrigation Services - A list of landscape irrigation professionals who partner with EPA’s WaterSense Program. These irrigation professionals can help you reduce water consumption, save money and maintain a healthy and beautiful landscape.