Yards and Gardens
Some simple practices can help not only reduce or even eliminate pollution from gardening chemicals, but also make your yard safer for pets and kids. Plus, chances are you’ll spend less time and money on garden maintenance, and more hours enjoying it!
Watch Fred and Izzy visit a pesticide-free garden that's not only safe for pets and kids but also keeps stormwater free of harmful chemicals.
What You Can Do
Choose native and drought tolerant plants.
They are generally less susceptible to pests and need less maintenance. Get inspired on garden tours organized by Bringing Back the Natives.
Control pests with non-toxic alternatives.
These practices include handpicking, traps, and encouraging predatory insects. Explore our fact sheets, including tips for specific pests and garden problems.
Ask an expert!
Our Water Our World, a project supported by the Clean Water Program, answers garden pest questions by email. Submit a question.
Find out where to buy less-toxic products.
Many local hardware stores and nurseries provide a wide variety of less-toxic pest control products and have been trained by Our Water Our World experts. Find a location near you.
Dispose properly of unused pesticides
...and other garden chemicals at a household hazardous waste facility.
Be water smart!
Apply garden chemicals only when there is no rain in the forecast, and don’t overwater. The water we use on our gardens is chlorinated, and runoff can be dangerous to aquatic life.
Make the most of rainwater.
Instead of letting rainwater rush off your property and into storm drains, you can capture it with rain barrels or so-called rain gardens - landscaped areas that absorb and filter rainwater. These practices conserve water and protect our local streams. Check out the Rainwater Harvesting fact sheets below.
General Fact Sheets
- Safe Use & Disposal of Pesticides (English, Spanish)
- Problem Pesticides (English, Spanish)
- Pocket Guide for choosing less toxic products
- Finding a Pest Control Company
Insect-specific Fact Sheets
Spray bottle label featuring non-toxic pest control recipes you can make at home! Print label and stick on any clean plastic spray bottle.
Check out the 8-page "Summer Reeds" for tips on low-toxic gardening, best ways to control ants, all about bees and more!