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For Immediate Release: May 23, 2005             
NR05-09 (revised May 24, 2005)


HONOLULU - The Pesticides Branch of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will be holding training sessions for residents and nurseries to emphasize the proper use of hydrated lime to control coqui frog infestations. There have been reports that some residents are not following the label directions when using the chemical and are applying the dust form of the chemical.  The dust form is only allowed for agricultural operations, which can restrict access to the treated area for at least 48 hours after treatment.  Residents are only allowed to use a three percent solution in a liquid form to spray on foliage or to drench the soil.

"It is extremely critical that hydrated lime be applied according to the label directions," said  Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. "Hydrated lime is a corrosive chemical that, if improperly used, may be hazardous to humans and animals."

 Improper use of hydrated lime may cause irreversible damage to the eyes and skin burns. It is harmful if swallowed or absorbed through the skin and may be fatal if inhaled.

"Pesticide dealers are required to have those purchasing hydrated lime complete an Applicator Authorization Form and provide the user with label instructions," said Robert Boesch, manager of HDOA's Pesticides Branch.  "It is important for the public to know that it is a violation of state and federal laws to use the dust form of hydrated lime in private yards and public property.

"Because of the significant hazards associated with hydrated lime, reports of misuse will be a priority for investigation and enforcement action," Boesch added.

HDOA's Pesticides Branch has the enforcement authority for both state and EPA laws.  Fines for violations of state and federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules for hydrated lime range between $1,000 to $5,000 per offense.  Suspected improper use of a pesticide should be reported to HDOA at:

            Oahu - 973-9401
            Big Island - 974-4140
            Maui County - 873-3555
            Kauai - 274-3069

Questions regarding the proper use of all pesticides may also be directed to those phone numbers.  Label instructions and forms are available on the HDOA website at:

HDOA's Pesticides Branch is scheduling training sessions at HDOA Offices and at University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) Research Stations at the following locations and times:


                        May 31 (Tuesday), 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon
                        CTAHR Komohana Agricultural Complex, 875 Komohana St.

June 16 (Thursday), 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
            CTAHR Komohana Agricultural Complex, 875 Komohana St.


                        June 2 (Thursday). 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon
                       CTAHR Kona Research Station, 79-7381 Mamalahoa Hwy.

June 30 (Thursday), 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
            CTAHR Kona Research Station, 79-7381 Mamalahoa Hwy.


June 8 (Wednesday), 9:00 - 12 noon
            Maui HDOA Office, 635 Mua St. Kahului


June 6 (Monday), 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
CTAHR Pearl City Urban Garden Center, 955 Kamehameha Hwy., Pearl City


                        June 15 (Wednesday), 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
                        Kauai HDOA Office, 4398A Pua Loke St., Lihue

A continuing training schedule is being developed.

On April 26, 2005, the EPA approved an emergency exemption requested by HDOA to allow the use of calcium hydroxide (CA(OH)2), commonly known as hydrated lime, to control coqui and greenhouse frog infestations in Hawaii. 

In granting the exemption, EPA requires that HDOA create a product label detailing the conditions under which hydrated lime may be used, which include the following:

  • Agricultural establishments are allowed to use the dust form of hydrated lime and worker entry into treated areas must be restricted for 48 hours after treatment.
  • Residential, commercial or public uses must be sprayed in a solution form.
  • Must not be applied to food crops;
  • Applicators must be wear protective clothing, chemical-resistant gloves and protective eyewear and approved respirators;
  • Include a precautionary statement that it is harmful if swallowed;
  • Must not be used in areas that were recently treated with ammonium-containing fertilizers, which may react with the lime and release ammonia.
  • Must not be applied to areas where children play or congregate;
  • Must not be applied to trees to avoid the potential for subsequent dripping of the chemical on people or property, such as automobiles;
  • For non-agricultural uses, such as around homes, persons other than the applicator are prohibited from entering the treated area until the spray has dried.

HDOA reminds the public to follow all label directions when using any pesticide and to be careful to minimize exposure to themselves, their families and neighbors.


For more information, contact:

Janelle Saneishi
Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Phone: (808) 973-9560
To E-mail, click here