Documents: Special Interest: Seasonal:

Winter Offers a Perfect Time for Gardeners

to Properly Inventory, Store and Dispose of Home Pesticides
by Stevan Allen
January 23, 2011

The winter weather may drive gardeners indoors, but it’s the perfect season for Green Thumbs to properly inventory, store and dispose of any pesticides leftover in the garage, according to the Apply Responsibly public awareness campaign.

“While we have been emphasizing the responsible application of home pesticides during the warmer months, it is equally important for consumers to practice responsible storage and disposal during the offseason,” said Fred Pearson, chairman of the Urban Pyrethroid Stewardship, which created the Apply Responsibly program. “Now is the perfect time to clean out the garage in the right way.”

Formed in 2008, the stewardship group, comprised of leading pesticide industry companies, is dedicated to informing California consumers about the important link between responsible pesticide practices and safeguarding the state’s waterways.

This winter, consumers are advised to remember the following best practices for storing and disposing of home and garden pesticides:

Use, store and dispose of unused pesticides according to the instructions on the product label;

Consult your local waste management agency to locate a disposal facility where you can drop off your unused pesticides;

Do not reuse an empty pesticide container;

Remember that an empty pesticide container contains residue and should also be handled carefully and according to the labels;

Always store pesticides in their original containers;

Ensure containers are securely closed and kept inside a shed or garage; if they are in paper bags, be sure they are off the ground so they do not get soaked in case of minor backyard flooding;

Store in a safe place away from children;

Never pour any leftover pesticides down the sink, toilet, sewer or storm drain;

Remember how much you used during the spring and summer so that the next season you won’t stockpile pesticides and buy only enough for one season.

For the past two years, the stewardship program has been promoting Apply Responsibly messages through advertising, public radio underwriting, mainstream media and the web site. The group also makes informational brochures available to garden clubs, nurseries, water districts and any other organization interested in helping raise pesticide awareness among California gardeners and homeowners.

Pyrethroid insecticides are used to control a wide range of insects that can infest gardens and enter the home. Chances are most consumers are probably using a pyrethroid if they have purchased consumer pesticide products intended to control mosquitoes, caterpillars, ants, spiders, garden worms, wasps, cockroaches, aphids and other insects that threaten plants, home or health.

“Our campaign is intended to provide ongoing reminders for Californians to do their part in protecting the environment,” Pearson said. “Pyrethroids should be handled like any other pesticide – that means carefully following label instructions and other commonsense measure to keep our water clean.”


“Apply Responsibly” is a public awareness program funded by the Urban Pyrethroid Stewardship.

Through and educational materials, the industry alliance promotes the responsible use, storage and disposal of insecticides commonly used in the garden and outside home as a way to help protect California’s water and environment. The following companies are members of the Stewardship: AMVAC Chemical; Bayer CropScience; Cheminova, Inc.; DuPont Crop Protection; FMC Corporation; Syngenta Crop Protection; and Valent BioSciences Corporation.

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row