Home, Garden Pesticide Survey Results

News Article

The results of an EPA-contracted national survey on home and garden pesticide use are scheduled to be released soon. Conducted in 1990 by Research Triangle Institute, the one-time survey of more than 2,000 households in 58 counties across the country examined what pesticides are used for what pest problems, how often they are used and how they are applied, how unused pesticides are stored or disposed of, how empty pesticide containers are disposed of, the extend of child-resistant packaging, the effectiveness of ides, and which pests are major problems. The sample was representative of an estimated 84,573,000 households.

Garden Pesticide Use Survey, Final Report, Volume 1. The findings of the survey included:

  • About 85 percent of the households surveyed had at least one pesticide product being stored when the survey was conducted. Most, about 63 percent, had between one and five pesticide products in the home.
  • Fire ants were the most serious problem of the surveyed households, with cockroaches, other types of ants, fleas, and mice or rats being the most serious problems inside the home.
  • The most common means of disposing of empty pesticide containers and leftover pesticides was to include these items in household trash.
  • Many households still had pesticides whose registrations have been cancelled by EPA. Products containing chlordane were calculated to be present in one million households. DDT-containing products, 150,000 households; heptachlor, 70,000 households; and silvex, 85,000 households.
  • Only about 20 percent of all pesticides in the home were found to be stored in child-resistant packaging.

(From: Pesticide and Toxic Chemical News, Vol. 20, No. 10)

This article originally appeared in the March 18, 1992 issue, p. 33.