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Beware of Phone-y Pesticides

April 13, 2001
Pesticide telemarketers are at it again, and some of them will tell you anything to make the sale. A farmer was looking for a herbicide to clean broadleaf weeds out of his sunflower field. The telemarketer had the perfect product. The farmer was excited to solve his problem. Fortunately, he found out the active ingredient and called his Extension office before he made the purchase. The active ingredient was prometone. This product is not labeled for agricultural use and would have prevented any plant growth, crops and weeds, probably for a couple of years.

Even for its proper use, this was a bad deal. The product being offered was only 2% active ingredient, while the more familiar herbicide Pramitol has the same active ingredient at 25% concentration at about the same price or cheaper.

As a rule, it is probably a bad idea to buy pesticides over the phone. But, if they do get you interested and the product really sounds good, ask them to mail you a copy of the label first. This will give you time to look it over, think about the purchase, and investigate related products.

Our consumer experts advise that once the purchase is made, you actually have better protection from poor products purchased from door-to-door salesmen than you do from telemarketers. If you purchase by credit card, your credit card company may give you the opportunity to protest the bill when deceptive advertising is used, but do you want these people to have your credit card number?--Dennis Bowman

Author: Dennis Bowman

The Pest Management and Crop Development Bulletin
Executive Editor: Kevin Steffey, Extension Entomologist

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