If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) officials say several vendors usually appear across the Bluegrass state about this time every year selling ineffective chemicals at seemingly cut-rate prices.
"Each spring, we in the Department receive many complaints from home gardeners, farmers, and others who purchase ineffective chemicals over the telephone or on the Internet," said Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer. "The sellers of these products usually claim they're comparable to well-known national brands--and for some folks, the seemingly cheaper prices are hard to resist."
Pressure tactics are frequently used by sellers of such chemicals. "If the seller tells you to buy his product now or the deal will be gone forever, that's a strong indication that his product is no good," said Barry Skipper, Director of the Division of Environmental Services. "It's always a good idea to review the labels of the comparable chemicals the seller names before buying any product".
KDA's Ken Franks works with licensed pesticide retailers throughout Kentucky and says if you are considering buying a chemical product over the phone or on the Internet, you should ask the seller several questions:
- Ask for the product's EPA registration number.
- Call the KDA to ensure the product is registered for use in Kentucky.
- Ask for the product's active ingredients and record the percentages of each.
- Ask how many square feet or acres the product will cover.
- Request complete directions for use of the product.
- Ask for the company's name, address, and telephone number.
- Compare the product to a similar one offered by your local retailer.
- Ask if the seller has a license to sell in Kentucky and ask for his license number.
- Keep a record of all of this information.
"You should never buy a product that requires cash upon delivery," Franks said. "Sometimes these vendors will send you the product whether you ordered it or not, so be careful about who you talk with."
For more information, contact Franks by phone at 502/564-7274 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.