Frankfort, KY

 If it sounds too good to be true,  chances are, it is. That's according to officials in the
 Kentucky Department of Agriculture who say several vendors usually appear across the Bluegrass State
 about this time every year, selling ineffective chemicals at cut-rate prices.

 "Each spring, we in the Department receive many complaints from home gardeners, farmers, and others
 who purchase cheap but ineffective chemicals over the telephone or on the Internet," said Billy Ray Smith,
 Commissioner of Agriculture. "The sellers of these products usually claim they're comparable to well-
 known national brands, and for some folks, the 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 John
 McCauley, Director of the Division of Pesticide Regulation.

 The 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 products' 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 name and 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 Ken Franks at (502) 564-7274 or