Tips For Homeowners When Considering A Tree Spray Company

Are you or your neighborhood considering contacting with tree sprayers for ground spraying? Below are tips on appropriate techniques for controlling and minimizing gypsy moth or other insect infestations:

Plan Ahead

Pesticide control of gypsy moth is most effective during the early larval (caterpillar) stage, when the caterpillars are very small. Biological products such as Bacillus thuringiensis is very effective and has the least environmental impact.

Look For Companies With Proper Licensing

State Law requires that any person who applies a pesticide has a valid commercial pesticide applicator’s license or certification (required for using restricted use pesticides). A license or certification is required whether the product is a synthetic chemical or a biological chemical or any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest or any substance intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant.

When contacting a Tree Company, Homeowners should ensure that the company along with the person who will be applying the pesticide possess a Commercial Pesticide License or Certification. Not all Tree Maintenance Companies have Licensed Pesticide Applicators and not all Tree or Licensed Arborists carry a Commercial Pesticide License.

It is best to contact and obtain quotes from a few companies, to inquire about pesticide licensing and the products they intend to use. Ask what types of products they plan on using and inquire about any associated hazards regarding in the use of those products. All Pesticides must carry an EPA Registration Number (e.g. EPA Reg. No. 231-4567) and be registered for use and distribution with the state of Rhode Island. We suggest that you obtain both the name of the products and the EPA Registration numbers so you may also search for information on the product on the internet or request they provide you with a copy of the product label.

Know Which Pesticides They'll Use

Inquire about the least toxic chemical/product available to minimize any potential adverse effects on the environment. Some of the products are toxic to bees and other beneficial insects. Also, inquire about what type of spray equipment they will be using. You will need to let them know how tall some of the trees on your property are. Hopefully they will make a site visit to assess the area. It is also important that when applying, the chemical does not drift onto your neighbors or abutting properties.

All Pesticide Products must be applied according to the label directions and instructions, whether it’s applied by a commercial company or by a homeowner. Misuse of a pesticide is not only a violation of both the Federal and State Pesticide Laws, but can also cause injury and damage to public health and the environment.

When reviewing product labels make sure the site you will be treating is on the label and the pests is listed on the label as well and the product is labeled for outdoor use. For example the site may say ornamentals, shade trees or the specific name of the tree species and the pest (e.g. gypsy moth) is also listed as a target pest.

If you have any questions about Pesticide Licensing; the Application of a Pesticide or if you plan on applying to your own property, please contact the Pesticide Program at 401-222-2781.