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Updates from WSDA Pesticide Management Division

Prevent Pesticide Drift

As spraying season approaches WSDA is reminding pesticide applicators to ensure pesticides do not drift off target and offering tips on how to reduce the risk of drift.

  • Read the label on the pesticides and abide by all precautions and restrictions on safe handling, necessary protective equipment, buffers, the effect on crops, and more.
  • Be especially diligent near areas such as highways, homes, schools, and other occupied dwellings, or where workers are present.
  • Properly calibrate and configure equipment, using the proper nozzles, pressure, and if applicable fan speed, to keep the spray on target.
  • Scout the areas bordering the treatment area for people and animals before and during the application.
  • Evaluate conditions such as wind speed, wind direction, and temperature.
  • Stop applying pesticides if conditions change and the risk of drift rises to an unsafe level or if anyone approaches the area without proper protection. Only proceed with the application when you have assessed that it can be completed without contacting them.

To file a drift complaint, email or call 1-877-301-4555. WSDA also maintains a toll-free drift exposure line for farmworkers, 1-844-388-2020, which is monitored by bilingual staff. Be sure to have as much information as possible regarding the incident to share with the department or when an investigator returns the call. WSDA strives to respond to all cases of possible human exposure within 24 hours and all other complaints within 48 hours.


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