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How to Safely Store Pesticides in Your Home

By Chris Williams on February 5, 2013.
  • store pesticides at homeDon’t stockpile pesticides. Buy only the amount that you will need in the near future or for the next growing season.
  • Follow all storage instructions on the pesticide label. Look for the box on the label titled “Storage and Disposal.”
  • Store pesticides high enough that they are out of reach of children and pets. Keep all pesticides in a locked cabinet in a well-ventilated utility area or garden shed.
  • Never store pesticides in cabinets with food or near food, animal feed, or medical supplies.
  • Always store pesticides in their original containers, complete with labels that list ingredients, directions for use, and first aid steps in case of accidental poisoning.
  • Do not store pesticides in places where flooding is possible or in places where they might spill or leak into wells, drains, ground water, or surface water.
  • Never transfer pesticides to soft drink bottles or other containers. Children or others may mistake them for something to eat or drink.
  • Child-resistant packaging is not “child-proof” and must be used correctly to be effective. You still must close the container tightly after using the product and store it out of children’s reach.
  • If you can’t tell how old the contents of a pesticide container are, the best way to dispose of the product is to apply it to the site according to the directions listed on the label. Keep in mind that if the product is old, you may not see the results you expect from the treatment and may need to retreat with new product.
  • If you can’t read the label at all and don’t know what the contents are, dispose of the pesticide safely. Check with your local solid waste management authority, environmental agency, or health department to find out the best way to dispose of the container and contents. Some communities have a hazardous waste collection program.

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