Why Does the Sign Say KEEP OFF UNTIL DRY?


By Rick Orr
APL Pest Control Posting Sign with GNome

History of the Insecticides and the Posting Sign

Manufactured insecticides are a fairly new invention – since about 1945. There were few regulations on the new industry and most of the insecticides were very primitive. They were basically poisons - skull and crossbones poisons and harmful to people and animals.

Mostly the insecticides were used on agricultural crops – large acreages often applied by crop dusters. Farmers were required to post notices at each field to warn the farmworkers – Danger: Do not Enter.

Lawn Spraying Used the Same Insecticides

During the late '60s and early ’70s, there was a growing lawn spraying industry that applied the same agricultural insecticides to home lawns. There was concern over the hazards of applying these primitive insecticides to residential areas, so laws were passed requiring lawn spraying companies to post lawns like farmers posted their crop-dusted fields. That’s the posting sign law and it is still on the books today – some 50 years later.

New Laws - New Insecticides

During the 50 years since the posting sign law, new laws and regulations on insecticides were created that prohibited the use of primitive dangerous insecticides on home lawns. Many thought that was the end of the lawn spraying industry. But modern science found an alternative to those dangerous insecticides.

The Advent of Synthetic Botanicals

Natural insecticides found in marigolds and chrysanthemums are very effective in small amounts and very safe. Unfortunately, since very little is needed - very little is produced by the plant and cannot be economically harvested. However, scientists discovered how to duplicate these natural insecticides in the laboratory – synthetic botanicals. These synthetic botanicals share many of the same characteristics as the natural botanicals – effective in small amounts and safe for you, children, pets, and the environment. These are the modern insecticides.

Natural Botanicals: Safe and Effective

Modern insecticides are safe and very effective. They are so safe, the active ingredient in your pet’s flea shampoo is the same insecticide I spray on your lawn. And yet so effective, I use less than one teaspoon of insecticide for an entire lawn.

Outdated Law

So the old dangerous primitive insecticides have been replaced with modern ultra-safe insecticides that are safe for you, your children, your pets, and the environment. The insecticides have changed dramatically over the past 50 years - but nobody changed the law for posting signs. And that is why I post your property with a warning telling you to stay off until dry - because of an outdated law.

And as a jab at the bureaucrats, my warning sign is NOT the international symbol of death – the skull and crossbones - but a playful lawn gnome holding a handwritten sign.

Rick Orr Owner-Staff Agronomist Barefoot Grassl/Creator of ILOVETURF.COM
Staff Agronomist at Barefoot Grass

Since 1995, Rick Orr has worked in Pinellas County providing turf management and pest control. Rick Orr is a graduate of VA Tech in Agronomy (Turf Ecology) and the creator of Iloveturf.com. 

Since graduating from VA Tech in 1979, Rick worked in the green industry, mostly with golf courses, resorts, and large communities. Rick has obtained certifications in arboriculture, landscape, irrigation, and taught Environmental Horticulture at St Petersburg College. 

Currently, Rick is the Staff Agronomist at Barefoot Grass in Largo, FL. To learn more about Barefoot Grass https://www.barefootgrass.com/ Free Price Quote from Barefoot Grass for Home Pest Control and/or Lawn Care https://www.barefootgrass.com/contact-weed-control/ 

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