Yards, Gardens, and Pets

Image Credit - Bringing back the Native Garden Tour

Some pesticides can pose a risk to children, pets, and the environment.

The overuse of pesticide products is not healthy for your garden or for the environment.  Please use pesticide products only when needed, and according to the instructions on the label.  Avoid applying these products on rainy or windy days to help prevent runoff into storm drains and our waterways.  Look for the many effective, less-toxic products available in stores to manage pests and diseases.

When the pesticide container you are using is empty, rinse it and your application equipment at least three times and pour the rinse water on the plant you bought the pesticide for.  If an accidental spill happens, cover the area with sawdust or kitty litter, sweep it into a plastic garbage bag, and/or take it to a household hazardous waste facility.  If you have leftover pesticides you no longer want to use, you can take them to your Household Hazardous Waste facility.

Yard waste can clog the storm drainage system and cause irreparable harm.  Although leaves and organic waste are biodegradable, their breakdown process robs valuable oxygen from the water.  This stresses and even kills fish and other aquatic life  By composting your grass clippings, yard waste, and other biodegradable materials (e.g. banana peels and eggshells), you will return valuable nutrients and moisture to the soil.

Did you know?

  • A majority of stormwater pollution is the result of improper residential practices (maybe give a couple of examples, such as over-watering, over-fertilizing, etc.)
  • Most of the insects you see in your yard are actually beneficial
  • One ladybug may eat as many as five thousand aphids in a lifetime

What you can do:

  • Never put yard waste in storm drains or creeks
  • Use your green waste container
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn
  • Compost
  • Use organic mulch


Learn Less-Toxic Pest Management from one of our partners, Our Water Our World

Please find the links below to 14 fact sheets in English and 3 fact sheets in Spanish.  The fact sheets below are filled with information on finding effective, non-toxic and less-toxic pest management solutions around your home and garden.


Specific Pests


General Assistance


En Español


Please visit the Our Water Our World website for more information.