Neighbor Notification Law Highlights for Homeowners

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The following are highlights that will help explain the Neighbor Notification Law as it relates to residents who apply their own pesticides.

  • A residential application is any application of "over the counter" pesticides to outdoor property owned, leased or rented by the individual who applies pesticides to any of the following:
    • ground/lawn
    • trees
    • shrubs
    • flowers
  • Pesticides include common lawn fertilizers (liquids or granules) which contain pesticides to control weeds, grubs, and other common insects
  • The following pesticide applications are not considered a residential lawn application and do not require the posting of markers:
    • the application of pesticide for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity (vegetables or fruits)
    • application of pesticides around or near the foundation of a building for the purpose of indoor pest control (ants, earwigs, etc.)
  • A person who makes a lawn application of more than 100 square feet to property they own, lease or rent, must post visual notification markers around the perimeter of the application site.
  • The requirements for posting visual notification markers (signs):
    • markers need to be placed every 50 feet along the perimeter of the area where pesticides are to be applied
    • markers do not need to be placed in any area which is rendered impassable by a fence, wall hedge or similar barrier
    • every treated area of over 100 square feet must be marked by at least 2 notification markers
    • markers must be posted on the day of the lawn application and must be in place before pesticides are applied
    • markers must be clearly visible to persons immediately outside the perimeter of the property
    • markers must be at least 4 inches by 5 inches in size
    • the top of the marker must be at least 12 inches above the ground
    • text on the markers must be in contrasting colors to the background
    • letters need to be at least three-eighths of an inch in height
  • Markers must include the following information on them:
    • the date and time of the application
    • instructions not to enter the treated property or remove the markers for 24 hours following the application
  • Markers can be home-made as long as they comply with above requirements. They may be available at some local retail stores. You can also download a lawn marker [.pdf, 12 Kb] to print and use. (You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the printable marker.)
  • You have no obligation under this law if the application is made by a commercial applicator. However, the commercial applicator is required to comply with specific laws.
  • Penalties for violation of the residential lawn application requirements include:
    • a written warning and educational materials for the first violation;
    • a $100 fine for the second violation; and,
    • a $250 fine for the third and subsequent violations

    These penalties may be levied only after a hearing or opportunity to be heard.


  • Visual notification markers must be at least 4 inches by 5 inches
  • The top of the marker must be at least 12 inches above the ground

This page is intended to provide highlights of the neighbor notification law. Review a full copy of the law to ensure you are in full compliance.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, or a full copy of the law, please call the Erie County Department of Health at 716-961-7524.

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations