How to know if neighbor's herbicide use is safe

Asked May 5, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT

Hello, I found your site by googling safe herbicide use. My neighbor has a field in front of my house where he grows grasses for his horses. Last week he sprayed herbicide and this week the leaves on the trees in my yard shriveled up and my Dad's garden next door died. I'm concerned especially because I have small children who play in the yard. I expect that he will tell me his use is safe. I was hoping you could point me to resources that could tell me without a doubt about the safety of his herbicide use and any recourse I might have. Thank you for your time and concideration.

Mecklenburg County Virginia

3 Responses

Hi, you will need to find out the name of teh herbicide and search on the product name and "MSDS". that is the Material Safety Data Sheet that has specific information on that herbicide. I suspect the neighbor treated on a windier day than he should have and the herbicide drifted onto your property and your father's garden. The MSDS will speak to the dangers of that particular herbicide, and without knowing what herbicide and at what dosage it was applied, I can't say much.

I suggest you contact your local Extension office for help they can probably help you with the herbicide information. I have no way to know what the responsibilities of a pesticide applicator are in Virginia, but your local extension should be able to help. Otherwise, contact your municipality to find out about local regulations. I would think if he improperly applied herbicide, he would be responsible for damages.

Thank you. Very helpful! I'll contact my local extension office today.