Is Your Kid At Camp This Summer? Read Up on NYS Pesticide Application Requirements

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Pesticide Application Requirements at Children's Camps

A new amendment to the Public Health Law (PBH) prohibits pesticide applications to children’s day camps and overnight camps. The law also applies to playground, turf, athletic or playing fields utilized by camps that operate at college campuses, town-owned parks, or multi-use facilities while the camp is in session. This law went into effect on June 20, 2022. The products listed below are exempt from the prohibition but must only be applied by a DEC-Certified Pesticide Applicator or by someone who works under the supervision of a DEC-Certified Pesticide Applicator. All of the below products, with the exception of pesticides exempt from registration, must be registered for use in New York State. You can double check a products NYS registration status and Pesticide Applicator Certification statuses on our database NYSPAD.

Products Exempt from the Prohibition

  • Antimicrobial products as defined by FIFRA in 7 US Code §136 (mm) and 136q(h)(2). (examples: surface disinfectants and sanitizers)
  • Aerosol products with a directed spray in containers of 18-fluid ounces or less used to protect individuals from an imminent threat from stinging and biting insects, including venomous spiders, bees, wasps, and hornets. Fogger products or aerosol products that discharge to a wide area are not exempt.
  • Nonvolatile rodenticides in tamper resistant bait stations or in areas inaccessible to children.
  • Products containing boric acid or disodium octaborate tetrahydrate.
  • Horticultural oils and soaps that do not contain synthetic pesticides or synergists.
  • Pesticides classified as “exempt” from registration by the US EPA under 40 CFR Part 152.25. (example: Minimum-Risk Pesticides)

Emergency Pesticide Applications

An emergency application of non-exempt pesticides under the PBH law is allowed only if there exists a public health or environmental emergency at a children’s camp. The emergency determination must be made by either the local health department or by the NYS DOH's Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment.

For more information on how this law is enforced, contact your local health department or the NYS DOH’s Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment.

For information on pest control using methods less dependent on pesticides go to Cornell Cooperative Extension’s IPM Program webpage.