Safe pesticide storage tips

Check your storage area to ensure you are taking advantage of these practices for best results

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Here is a checklist for evaluating your pesticide storage area this spring:

  • Whether your pesticide storage area is an entire building, a room, a closet or a cabinet devoted to pesticide storage, keep it locked to prevent unauthorized entry, vandalism or theft.
  • Post warning signs on doors and windows to let people know that pesticides are stored inside.
  • “No Smoking” signs should also be posted, since many pesticides are flammable.
  • Regularly check containers for leaks. Transfer the contents of leaking containers to a sound container with the exact same formulation and label. Follow label recommendations for disposal of damaged containers.
  • Store pesticides in their original containers with the labels intact.
  • Put the heaviest containers and liquids on the lowest (preferably metal) shelves. Be sure that shelves are sturdy enough to handle the load.
  •   To avoid cross-contamination, store each type of pesticide (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides) in a separate location or on a separate shelf within the storage unit.
  • Store pesticides away from food, pet food, feed, seed, fertilizers, veterinary supplies and flammable materials.
  • Outdated or unusable pesticides can be taken to a community “clean sweep” day for free, safe disposal.  Check with your local county Extension office for a list of dates and locations.

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