DATCP: Start the new year right and join the landscape pesticide notification registry

Contact: Jane Larson Office: (608) 224-5005 Cell: (608) 212-3094

MADISON—Start the new year right and join the Landscape Pesticide Advance Notice Registry before the February 1 deadline, urge officials with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The pesticide advance notice registry is a way for homeowners and renters to receive advance notice of pesticides that will be professionally applied to lawns, trees and shrubs in their neighborhood. The registry is a no-charge service coordinated by the state agriculture department.

“In 2009, nearly 1,100 people from 52 counties joined the registry requesting advance pesticide notification,” said Debra Viedma, registry coordinator with DATCP. “You are not required to provide a reason for joining the registry. Over time though, people have shared that they use the registry to know when to close their windows, to keep children and pets indoors, or when to avoid an area while pesticides are applied.”

The registry is free, but you must complete a form listing the addresses on your block or immediately adjoining blocks that you are concerned about. Last year, citizens listed nearly 15,000 addresses on the registry. Pesticide companies must let you know in advance when and if addresses you have listed are to be treated with pesticides. The registry does not apply to agricultural applications, pesticides applied by local governments, pesticides applied by private homeowners or to fertilizer-only applications.

For a registry form, contact the Landscape Registry Coordinator, DATCP, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, Wis., 53708-8911 or call (608) 224-4616. Or, print the registry form from the department’s Web site at http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/ then enter ‘landscape registry’ in the search box. Return your completed registry application to the above address by Feb. 1, 2010. Faxes are also accepted until Feb. 1 at (608) 224-4656.

“Allow yourself time to complete the form and return it by the Feb. 1 deadline,” Viedma said.

Once on the registry, participants may begin receiving advance notice by mid-March, depending on the weather. The notice may be a telephone call, recorded message, mailed postcard or a notice left at your door.

If you are not notified before a pesticide treatment takes place, Viedma advises registry members to contact the department as soon as possible at (608) 224-5296. Pesticide applicators are required to post a red and white warning sign that lists the company name and number, on lawns or by trees or shrubs that have been treated with pesticides. When making a complaint to the state agriculture department, it is best to include the address where the pesticide was applied and the name of the pesticide business that appears on the warning sign.

Renewal notices to current registry participants were mailed in December 2009. Renewals must also be returned by the Feb. 1 deadline to be included in the 2010 registry.