Less lawn
A shallow channel carries roof runoff to this front yard rain garden, absorbing it into the soil. Across the street, runoff flows over a chemically treated lawn and into the storm sewer, which empties into a nearby river.

Homeowners and gardeners may be considering the use of pesticides and other lawn and garden chemicals to control familiar pests.

Educators with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach have recently developed a chart of the toxicity of common lawn, garden and ornamental chemicals used to control insects, weeds and pathogens in the Midwest.

Found within the publication “Toxicity of Common Lawn, Garden, and Ornamental Pesticides in Iowa,” the chart compares the toxicity of nearly 60 insecticides, 38 herbicides and 37 fungicides in easy-to-understand terms.

"Finding the toxicity values for pesticide active ingredients can be a challenge, so we’ve streamlined the process in these tables," Mark Shour, entomology program specialist, said. "People concerned with the toxicity of a pesticide on pollinators can find this useful information before purchasing a product.”

The chart includes each chemical’s LD50 value (toxicity measurement), and signal words, ranging from “CAUTION” on slightly toxic insecticides, to “WARNING” on moderately toxic pesticide and “DANGER” on those that are highly toxic.

The chart also provides information related to bee toxicity, so that consumers can choose a product that is less toxic to bees, especially when applying the product to flowering plants.

The full publication can be found in the ISU Extension Store at https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/15669.

For more information, contact Mark Shour at 515-294-5963, or email him at mshour@iastate.edu.

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