Read the label
Read the product's label for storage directions.
Buy only what you need
Buy only the amount you need. Even a small container of a given pesticide concentrate may take years for the occasional applicator to use. Also, pesticides generally have a limited shelf life under normal storage conditions. Premixed, ready-to-use products minimize storage and are less toxic than concentrated formulations of the same material.
Store pesticides away from children, pets, food, animal feed, water, cleaning supplies or seeds. Use a locked cabinet or a locked, well-ventilated utility area such as a shed. Keep products off the floor and out of damp places. Keep containers closed tight and set them upright to prevent spills and with labels in full view.
Use a storage area or cabinet that is away from direct sunlight and heat sources, but not in freezing temperatures. Heat can over-pressurize pesticide containers to the point their contents spill when opened. Freezing temperatures can make products less effective.
Always keep pesticides in the original container or bag with its label intact. The label needs to show ingredients, directions for use and emergency information in case of poisoning. If a container holding a liquid pesticide shows signs of damage or deterioration, place the entire container into another, preferably of plastic. Try to preserve the label so that it may be adhered to the new container, or identify the new container fully. An open or torn bag can be sealed entirely in a clear plastic bag that shows the label.
Never pour pesticides outright into soft drink bottles or other containers that a child may associate with drink or food.
Store herbicides separately from other pesticides. Some herbicides vaporize and may contaminate other pesticides. A tainted insecticide could eventually damage the very plants you intended to safeguard against insects.
The best way to dispose of an unwanted pesticide is to apply the product according to the label directions. If you cannot, check with a neighbor, gardener, greenhouse keeper or farmer to see if they may routinely use the product.
No takers? Then call the BPC. We'll find a responsible individual who will apply your useable pesticides as they were intended.
- Don't be tempted to dump unwanted pesticides, hoping they'll go away. Because, well they won't! Deep-sixing a pesticide down the toilet or drain could corrode plumbing, create toxic fumes and damage septic and sewage systems. The chemical can also seep into groundwater, lakes and streams. Burying pesticides could contaminate soil and groundwater. And throwing pesticides out with the weekly trash could injure trash and landfill personnel, and groundwater may be polluted. Lastly, burning pesticides is illegal and can lead to toxic fumes or even explosions.
- Even empty containers are serious business. Residues may remain inside. A thoughtless toss in the trash or the burning of empty bags invite smaller doses of the same big problem.
Before disposing of an empty container, rinse it at least three times with water and apply the rinsate as if it were the actual pesticide. Puncture plastic and metal— but never aerosol—containers to prevent reuse. Replace cap or closure securely. Then wrap in several layers of newspaper to prevent children, pets and garbage crews from inadvertent exposure.