17% of pesticides on the market for non-professional use in Ireland
Figures from the Department of Agriculture show that 17% of all pesticides on the market in Ireland in 2018 were for non-professional use.
Out of the total sales of 2,651t of active ingredient, approximately 450t were for non-professional use.
Non-professional use mainly refers to the use of a pesticide product in a garden or household.
A large majority of the products for non-professional use were ferrous sulphate based products, according to the department. Many readers will know that ferrous sulphate is used to control moss.
Professional users and the Sustainable Use Directive
In 2015, all professional users were required to register as such in compliance with the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive.
A professional user uses pesticides in the course of their work which may be in farming, amenities or local authorities for example.
Professional users must have completed the appropriate training which may include training in the use of tractor-mounted sprayers or handheld applicators.
Follow strict regulations
On farms, professional users follow strict rules and regulations. They adhere to product rates, apply buffer zones near water courses and they must record the use of the product(s) they use and account for products in stock, as well as disposing of pesticide cans safely.
Non-professional users follow little regulation and are not followed up on once they leave the shop where they purchased the product.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine plans to carry out a pesticide usage survey in 2020 on the non-agricultural use of pesticides.