Federal guidance and orders by most governors have identified “landscaping” as an essential activity that is permitted in spite of stay at home or shelter in place requirements. While some of the services provided by landscapers and exterminators may be necessary to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential operations, pesticide application for cosmetic lawn care purposes is not.
The hazards of pesticides may be amplified during this pandemic. Threats to the immune and respiratory systems posed by pesticides are likely to make those exposed more susceptible to the coronavirus. Governors should designate outdoor maintenance as essential only when necessary to prevent spoliation, avoid imminent damage, or address emergency repairs. No pesticide application is essential unless it is necessary to address a public health emergency.