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Storage and disposal of home-use pesticides

The best storage practice for pesticides is to purchase only the amount needed to do the job. Unfortunately, this guideline often is not practical.

With so many home-use products available in ready-to-use formulations, they generally can be used up within a relatively short time. Consider purchasing these types of formulations rather than large quantities of concentrated products if storage is a concern. Regardless of length of storage time, pesticides should be stored in their original containers away from food, feed, fertilizers and water in a secure location that is well out of the reach of children and pets.

A locked storage shed or cabinet will suffice. Long-term storage is another issue with additional concerns, mainly temperature and moisture requirements. Some product labels will include under “Storage and Disposal” statements such as “do not allow to freeze” or will state more precise temperature ranges at which the product should be stored.

Temperature extremes cause chemical alterations of a product’s ingredients and can render them ineffective. Some products will undergo physical changes with temperature extremes and their ingredients will form crystalline or gelatinous masses and their components will separate out. Dry products, such as granular formulations, are more tolerant of temperature extremes, but they must be kept dry in storage.

These formulations have a high affinity for moisture and once they have absorbed any available moisture, they can quickly cake and form “tombstones.” Make a dry storage area a top priority, especially with these materials.

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