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Pesticides quickly destroy unwanted insects, rodents and weeds. But let's look at the whole picture. Pesticides also kill beneficial insects that pollinate flowers and prey upon harmful insects. Pesticides are poisonous to humans as well as animals and can harm the environment if disposed of improperly. We need to protect our groundwater-the major source of our drinking water-from these contaminants.

  • Inform manufacturers and retailers that you want products which are safer for the environment.
  • Use alternatives whenever possible. Contact organic gardening sources such as your extension service or library for this type of information.
  • When a pesticide is absolutely necessary, purchase and use only the amount needed to control your pest or weed problem.
  • Bury them.
  • Throw them in the trash.
  • Dispose of them in a septic tank.
  • Pour them on the ground.
  • Dump them down the sewer.
  • Read labels and follow directions. Observe precautions carefully.
  • Use a pesticide-approved respirator when using a spray.
  • Wear protective clothing such as heavy rubber gloves, garments which cover exposed skin, boots and eye protection (wrap-around goggles). Wash exposed clothing separately from other laundry using a full load setting with hot water and detergent.
  • If you use a spray system hooked to your hose, use a backup nozzle on your house connection to prevent pesticides from flowing back into your home water system.
  • Make sure you use up pesticides on your shelf before buying more.
  • Use up older pesticides before they exceed their shelf life.
Do not water pesticide-treated areas immediately after application unless indicated on label instruction. Runoff could happen, which would put pesticides into storm drains emptying into lakes, rivers or streams resulting in water contamination.

  • Keep pesticides in original containers stored safely away from children and pets.
  • Do not store pesticides near food supplies.
  • Choose an area where containers will not freeze, rust or become wet.
  • Use up your pesticides if possible. Triple-rinse empty container of pesticide. Reuse the rinse water just as you use your pesticide.
  • If your cannot use up your pesticide, give it to someone who can, provided it is not a banned substance.
  • Banned pesticides should be stored safely until a household hazardous waste event is organized in your community.

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