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MAINTENANCE : Storing, Disposing of Pesticides

September 25, 1993|From Associated Press

There are many ways to fight the battle of the bugs, including organic and inorganic methods. If you choose to use pesticides, follow some general guidelines for the safety of you, your family and your yard.

* Choose the proper product. Read labels carefully before you buy. Most garden chemicals are safe and effective if used as directed. Buy only what you need and share leftovers with a friend rather than discard the chemicals.

* Store chemicals in their original containers with the labels intact and legible. If stored properly, most pest-control substances will be effective the following season, so you don't need to throw leftover chemicals away.

* Tighten lids on liquid containers. Paper bags and boxes containing dust, granules or wettable powders should be closed and resealed with tape. Dry products can also be stored, container and all, in a clean plastic bag that can be sealed.

* Lock pesticides in a cabinet or storage room. This area should be separate from food supplies and protected from freezing temperatures or extreme heat.

* Dispose of pesticides with damaged containers. Never save empty containers. Check to see if your area has an authorized method of pesticide disposal. Your refuse-disposal agency can guide you.

* Do not put empty containers in an outdoor trash receptacle unless you have a dependable pickup service. Make sure animals and kids can't get at containers.

* Carefully mutilate and puncture plastic and paper containers; puncture and crush empty metal containers, except aerosol containers, which could explode if burned or punctured. To dispose of an empty aerosol can, spray until the can is out of pressure, then throw it away.

* Wrap glass containers in several thick layers of newspaper, tie securely and place in a trash can.

* Do not burn any containers.

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