Issue 7, June 11, 2018

Communication and the Illinois Lawn Care Application Notice Act

As a landscape professional, communicating with our client should be first. The relationship that we build with our client yields trust that can yield a continuous business. The communication we have with them should be informative, and timely. The time that we spend with them is important so that we can gather their needs or wants and also be able to inform them of our procedures. This can be easy to do with single family units but as we look at more commercial settings it isn't so easy to have that one on one conversations. In Illinois, there is a very specific requirements for communicating to clients when a lawn care product has been applied. The Illinois Lawn Care Application and Notice Act, is in place so that regardless of a personal conversation, a client or residents are immediately notified of an application has been made and a way to get a hold of you in order to ask any questions they might have in regards to what was applied, reentry intervals, safety data sheets or risks to animals.

The Lawn Care Application and Notice Act is found via the following link-  Below is a condensed version for just lawn care applicators.

According to the Lawn Care Products Application and Notice Act and Rules, lawn markers are to be placed immediately following an application of lawn care products. Under the law, both fertilizers and pesticides are considered lawn care products.  This includes even products that are registered to use for Organic.

If you are under contract to treat the common areas of a townhouse subdivision, you need to post the lawn markers immediately after you treat the main entrance areas (usual points of entry). Do not wait to post until the entire subdivision has been treated. Single-family residences are much simpler, because they have a single point of entry and the placing of lawn markers is done immediately following the treatment.

In Illinois, there are very specific requirements for the size and color of the lawn markers. The marker must be a 4-inch by 5-inch sign attached to a dowel or other support, extending no less than 12 inches above the turf. Regardless of what your company's colors are, the lawn marker must be white with contrasting colored lettering and the lettering height must not be less than 3/8 inch. Each lawn marker must state the following:

"LAWN CARE APPLICATION – STAY OFF GRASS UNTIL DRY – FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:" (your business name and telephone number should be inserted). Lawn Markers are required immediately after an application of the lawn care application of a product. The lawn marker must be put at the point or points of entry.

These markers alert costumers and nearby residents than application has been made to the lawn and provide contact information to ask about what was applied to the lawn. As a lawn care applicator it is your responsibility to provide accurate information to the ones that call or make an inquiry.  The information that you provide includes

  1. Name brand of product, common name and scientific name
  2. Type of fertilizer or pesticide (regardless of organic or synthetic)
  3. The reason that you used the product applied
  4. The amount applied
  5. Any special information that might apply to the costumer- Reentry, animal restrictions, or pre harvest intervals
  6. The business name and phone number as well as the name of applicator that made the application.
  7. They may request the Material Safety Data Sheet and a copy of approved product label.  

The time we take to discuss these with the people that call can build a lasting relationship and trust. It allows for clients to have peace of mind and know that when they set out for a walk with their dog or have their children romp in the yard that they are keeping them safe. Remember regardless of organic, if it is a fertilizer or a pesticide the same rules apply. If you should have any questions, please feel to contact the Pesticide Safety Education Program or the Illinois Department of Agriculture. (Maria Turner)

Maria Turner

Return to table of contents