Whoopsy Doodles with Chemicals

Pesticides are designed to control a problem for a specific reason. The term pesticide means "To Kill a Pest". Pests could be an array of things such as; weeds, insects, rodents, birds and fungi. Pesticide Applicator Licenses are issued by Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Licenses are required for individuals being paid to use or monitor the use of pesticides. You must be at least 18 years of age and pass the approved training course with at least 75%. For more information please call Ministry of Agriculture, and speak to a Pesticide Licensing Officer.

Basic Pesticide Groups:

  • Herbicides - kill weeds and/or grasses
  • Insecticides - kill insects
  • Rodenticides - kill rodents
  • Avicides - kill birds
  • Fungicides - kill fungi

Other control product groups commonly used:

  • Repellants - repel pests
  • Growth Regulators - treat growth or development
  • Desiccants  - take away moisture
  • Defoliants - take away foliage
  • Attractants - lure pest
  • Sticky Paste - trap pest
  • Chemosterilants - prevents reproduction of pests 

Three  Class Designations Under the Pest Control Products Act of Canada (PCP Act):

  1. Domestic - used by home owners and licensed applicators. They are safer because containers are smaller.  Concentrations, toxicities and hazards are lower.
  2. Commercial/Industrial/Agricultural - These must be used according to the label and used by trained licensed applicators. These generally have higher concentrations, toxicities and more hazardous than domestics. The containers are also much larger.
  3. Restricted - These products have restrictions because concerns for human health and environmental safety is greatly increased. There may be strict limitations of use, strict qualifications for who may use the product, strict conditions about the displaying and/or distribution of the product. The container is small, extremely concentrated, extremely toxic, and extremely hazardous to humans and the environment.  

Remember when using pesticides always read the labels and understand its use/purpose. Notice to the user labels: places the responsibility on the user to follow label instructions when using that product. Remember not all pesticides can be used for the same reason...so be careful. For example: Domestic Killex & Domestic Roundup are both herbicides, but one is a Selective-Herbicide and the other is a Non-Selective-Herbicide.

  • Selective-Herbicide: means IT DOES select one target & not the other. For example it may kill all broadleaf plants but not true grasses.
  • Non-Selective-Herbicide: means IT DOES NOT select any target, its kills anything and everything green. Trees, gardens, weeds, grasses, shrubs...etc. Everything dies if this product makes good contact.

This is how so many people end up torching there entire yard or have big sporadic dead spots. A few reasons why people get confused when selecting weed killers is because there's so many Product Names/Brand Names/Trade Names they don't know what to look for. For example: Transorb HC, Ultra 2, Weather Max, Rustler, Sharpshooter, Sharpshooter Plus, Maverick III,  Matrix, NuGlo, Vantage Plus Max II, Traxion, Glyfos, Crush'R Plus, ClearOut 41 Plus, Touchdown StartUp, Roundup...etc...etc...etc, all share one Common Name/Chemical Name or Active Ingredient listed in the GUARANTEE: "Glyphosate". This stuff is a nuclear bomb if you accidently get it on your grass. 


  • Chemical Name/Common Name/Active Ingredient Name: Glyphosate  
  • Trade Names/Brand Names/Product Names: Roundup, Touchdown...etc...etc...etc.
  • Group:9 Herbicide
  • Mode of Action - systemic/translocated (absorbed &transported through the plants vascular system)
  • Site of Uptake/Classifications - foliar applied, non-selective, pre-plant/post-emergent, post-plant/post-emergent, non-residual.
  • Uses -  grasses & broadleaf control 
  • Other info: inactive when contacts soil, do not mix with dirty water, not as effective on dusty weeds, may have some rain guard protection.

Pesticide Basics & Safety

Understanding Labels

Basic Info & Safety for Pesticide Application

  • Always store chemical properly
  • Always ID the target pest
  • Read all labels & directions first
  • Follow mixing instructions
  • Only spray when its necessary
  • Wear the correct safety gear
  • Pick up all animal & children's toys before applications
  • Shower when your done
  • Avoid applications when your lawn is sick
  • Do not spray when winds are gusty (drifting)
  • Do not spray when its dead calm (lingering)
  • Do not spray herbicides when its raining (wash off)
  • Do not compost your treated clippings for at least 3 mows (residues & long chemical half-life can kill gardens)
  • Test your chemical on a small area before a full broadcast (ensures a good kill test & safe mix ratio)
  • Wash out your sprayer after (cross contamination)
  • Never apply more than 2 full broadcasts per year unless otherwise stated
  • Keep attacking weeds throughout the season and before they go to seed (1 year of seeds can equal 7 years of weeds)
  • Look for signs of wilting or yellowing (may take 1-14 days depending on product and environmental conditions)
  • Spot spray any surviving or missed weeds a few weeks later (ensures better kill ratio & plant resistance)

Its human nature to assume more is better, but don't do it. Remember your applying a powerful medicine to your lawn...doubling the dose could result in disaster. Follow directions the same way you take prescription medicine from your doctor. Be patient when using pesticides, they take time. Some pesticides can take several weeks before symptoms & results occur.

Routes of Entry & Percent Absorption