Gardening & Pesticides

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective way to control pests while minimizing risks to people and the environment. To learn more about IPM for specific pest problems in your yard or garden, visit the University of California Statewide IPM Program page.

If you have a pest problem, first try less-toxic methods to control it, such as mulch, insecticidal soap, or beneficial insects like ladybugs. You can learn more about less-toxic control methods on the Our Water, Our World website. Our Water, Our World is a national program that utilizes Integrated Pest Management (IPM) advocates to partner local water pollution prevention agencies and garden centers and hardware stores to provide information on less-toxic and eco-friendly products for pest control. Currently, there are two stores in Butte County that are equipped with information racks as well as employees trained to give advice on less toxic pesticide products:

  • Home Depot
    2580 Notre Dame Boulevard
    Chico, CA 95928
  • Ace Hardware
    231 W East Avenue
    Chico, CA 95926

If you need to use a pesticide, follow these tips to protect yourself, others, and the environment:

  • Read labels and always apply chemicals using the recommended amounts and application methods.
  • Use the least amount of the chemical needed for your problem - remember, more isn’t always better!
  • Avoid application when it is windy or before it rains.
  • Don’t overwater the area immediately after application. Excess water will carry the chemicals straight to the storm drain system and into our local waterbodies.
  • Take care not to spill the product and never rinse spills into the street. If a spill occurs, absorb it with sawdust or cat litter and dispose of the absorbent material at your local household hazardous waste facility.
  • It is illegal in California to dispose of any pesticides in the trash. Properly dispose of your leftover or unused pesticides, whether solid or liquid, at your local household hazardous waste facility. Find your local facility, whether you’re in Chico, Oroville, or Gridley, by visiting the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) page.
  • Learn more about how to prevent pesticide runoff from your lawn or garden on the City of Chico’s Pesticide Runoff page.

Visit UC Master Gardeners of Butte County for more gardening information and tips, including local events and workshops, newsletters, and a place to ask your gardening questions!