Pesticide notification advice for pest management technicians

Notification of pesticide use is at times compulsory under legislation or can just be good practice. By following responsible notification techniques, you can help avoid complaints or disputes and prevent harm to people and the environment.

Compulsory notification

It is compulsory under Part 5 Division 3 of the Pesticides Regulation 2009 to

Some labels and permits require you to notify residents, neighbours or other members of the public. Look out for particular notification requirements relating to

  • signage
  • access and re-entry
  • odour
  • spraying within a certain distance of a property boundary or dwelling (buffer zone)

Good practice

  • Even if you are not required to notify neighbours about pesticides you are about to use, this is good practice. In particular, inform the managers of nearby sensitive places such as hospitals, schools and childcare centres so they can ensure the area is avoided, or advise parents and patients that a pesticide is going to be applied.
  • Even if there are no specific requirements on the label or permit, post notices in designated areas for agreed time periods before, during and after pesticide applications. Talk with your client about the appropriate duration of these notices.
  • In addition to what a label or permit may require, it is also good practice to limit access to treated areas for a period agreed between you and your client. 
  • Some pesticides smell during the application and for some time after application. Let your client know so that they can make suitable arrangements to keep children and other people who may be sensitive to chemical odours away from the area. This should be undertaken in addition to what the label or permit requires.
  • Suggest that home owners let immediate neighbours know that work is coming up – especially if the pesticide has an odour.
  • If the property is rented and the landlord has engaged you, suggest that they let the tenants know about the work.

Help identifying a sensitive place

If you are not familiar with the site and its surrounds, you can commonly identify a neighbouring sensitive place by

  • confirming the address of the proposed treatment and asking the person arranging the pesticide application if they are aware of any sensitive places next door or immediately behind the location of the job
  • checking a current street directory, which usually shows the location of schools and nursing homes.
  • carrying out a site inspection, noting the location of surrounding sensitive places
  • checking the location for neighbouring sensitive places using relevant online search facilities

Online search facilities include

  • 'My neighbourhood' which shows hospitals, playgrounds, schools, preschools, kindergartens and childcare centres –  enter the relevant postcode, then use the dropdown menus and check-boxes on the right-hand side to display the specific places on the map
  • Australian Schools Directory which provides a list of schools in an area, based on suburb
  • Yellow Pages which lists community health centres and nursing homes in any specific local area
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