Public Works Department
OVERKILL: Manage Pests and Protect Water Quality
Pesticides are one of the most dangerous pollutants found in our creeks, rivers, bays and ocean. When pesticides are sprayed on the sidewalks or in gardens, water from rain, hoses or sprinklers can carry these poisons to the storm drain where they flow, untreated, to our waterways. This can contaminate the water and threaten wildlife and marine life.
Choose the least toxic method of treatment
Pesticides should only be used when other less-toxic methods have failed. Also, use the smallest amount of pesticide needed for the job. For a list of pests and nonpesticide alternatives visit the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program at www.ipm.ucdavis.edu.
The best way to manage pests is to avoid them in the first place. To avoid outbreaks consider:
- Installing and repairing screens on windows and doors.
- Sealing cracks around windows and doors.
- Cleaning up spills and messes.
- Keeping trash cans tightly sealed and emptying them regularly.
- Cleaning dirty dishes.
- Storing all food in pest-proof containers.
- Cleaning up grease and crumbs.
- Repairing leaking pipes.
For fewer pests in your garden consider:
- Draining buckets or other items that hold standing water.
- Using mulch in flower beds to stop weeds.
- Planting trees, shrubs and grass well-suited for the climate.
- Only fertilizing plants with fertilizers designed to release nutrients slowly, such as compost or organic fertilizers.
- Cutting tall weeds, brush or grass.
- Cleaning out gutters often and making sure that water drains away from the house.
Do Your Part! Remember, the Ocean Begins At Your Front Door.
For more information about what you can do to prevent urban runoff pollution or to report a water pollution problem, contact the Orange County Stormwater Program at 714-567-6363 or visit www.ocwatersheds.com.