Scientists declare February is National Pesticide Safety Education Month

Scientists with the Weed Science Society of America, the American Phytopathological Society and the Entomological Society of America recently announced that February 2018 will be the first National Pesticide Safety Education Month.

“Today pesticides are used in and around homes, apartments, workplaces, farms and a myriad of other settings to control weeds, insects, disease-causing organisms, rodents and other pests,” says Fred Whitford, Ph.D., coordinator of Purdue Pesticide Programs at Purdue University. “That means everyone benefits when we focus on pesticide safety education. National Pesticide Safety Education Month is intended to reinforce the core principles of safe pesticide handling—from purchase to disposal.”

Many public and private sector groups provide education for pesticide users—from extension professionals, master gardeners and government regulators to manufacturers, dealers, retailers and pest management associations. Among the influential public initiatives are many Pesticide Safety Education Programs run by the nation’s land-grant universities.

“Sponsors of the first annual National Pesticide Safety Education Month will provide cash or non-cash contributions in 2018 to one or more land-grant university PSEPs through the Adopt-A-PSEP initiative of the National Stakeholder Team for PSEP Funding”, says Wayne Buhler, Ph.D., coordinator of the Pesticide Safety Education Program at North Carolina State University. “Adopt-A-PSEP connects these important programs with organizations that are willing to commit funds to promote public-sector education of all pesticide users.”

Organizations interested in becoming a sponsor of 2018 National Pesticide Safety Education Month are encouraged to contact Buhler at [email protected].

For more information on the safe and effective use of pesticides, see WSSA’s Pesticide Stewardship Series at