Pesticides and other household hazardous waste must be stored properly to prevent injury. This segment covers the basic steps of what you can do to protect yourself and family.

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Proper Storage of Pesticides

Many accidents, injuries, and illnesses can be prevented in your home by properly storing pesticides and fertilizers. To store your pesticides correctly, the first thing you should do is to look at the label. Inside the label there are key words to look for. They include caution, danger, and warning.

Check the label for specific storage instructions. You may want to take a permanent marker and write the date of purchase on the product so that you can keep track of how old the item is.

Another good idea is to keep an inventory log of your items in your cabinet. Always be sure to keep products in their original containers. The correct way to store items is in a storage cabinet. It should be up off the ground about eye level. The next best thing to use is a metal shelf securely attached to a wall. It’s best to keep the cabinet locked.

Always keep pesticides out of the reach of children. For example, one container has glyphosate, and one contains apple juice. You can see that it would be easy for a child to confuse the two, and accidentally ingest a herbicide or pesticide.

Pesticides and fertilizers should be stored in a dry, cool location, away from sparks or flames. Avoid storing products on the floor. This helps prevent products from being knocked over and spilled, and accidentally mixed together.

You’ll need to check product containers periodically for deterioration of the bottles. Make certain that the lids are secured tightly. For long-term storage, you may want to place a piece of clear waterproof tape across the label. This will secure it to the bottle for future reference.

This feature story prepared with Krista Harding, Kansas State University Research and Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, Southwind District. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at

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