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Updated Jul 15, 2022

pesticide storage tips

The photo shows a locked shed door. Careful storage of pesticides helps keep people and the environment from harm.

Read pesticide labels & follow the instructions

  • Check pesticide product labels for the STORAGE AND DISPOSAL section.
  • Follow the instructions closely.


Store pesticides in their original containers

  • The original container has the correct lid/cap to protect children and pets.
  • The original container is designed to protect the product.
  • Pesticide containers withstand the chemicals in the product.  

Store pesticide containers with their original labeling because it includes essential information such as:

  • Detailed information on how to use the product correctly and legally.
  • Information on potential hazards of the product.
  • Instructions you should follow for poisonings and spills.


  • Designate a place that is only used for pesticide storage.
  • Keep stored pesticides out of the reach of children and pets. Ideally, store pesticides in a locked container.
  • Choose an area that has good ventilation.
  • Keep stored pesticides away from stored food and animal feed.
  • Keep stored pesticides away from open flames.
  • Store pesticides away from ponds, streams, and drinking water wells.
  • Consider storing pesticide containers inside a larger container (secondary containment) which can contain liquids in the event of a leak or spill.


  • Temperature extremes can alter the chemistry of some pesticides.     
  • Temperature extremes may also damage pesticide containers.     
  • Read the pesticide label for storage information. Follow the instructions.
  • As a general rule, pesticides are best stored between 40–90 °F.


  • Keep your pesticide inventory as low as possible. Buy only what you need for the current season. Mix only what you need each day.
  • Never store pesticides in food or drink containers.
  • Dispose of unwanted pesticides. Don’t store unused pesticides for extended periods of time. See How to Transport and Dispose of Pesticides


The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)  can answer questions about pest control chemicals.
 1-800-858-7378 or  

Content provided by Weston Miller and Kaci Buhl.

 Peer reviewed by OSU Department of Horticulture.

Photo of Weston Miller

Weston Miller

Project Founder and Content Writer

Weston Miller served as Community and Urban Horticulture faculty for Oregon State University Extension Service for Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. Weston is an author for content for this website. He developed funding partnerships with Portland area agencies to initiate and build out the Solve Pest Problems website focused on this goals:

Photo of Kaci Buhl

Kaci Buhl

At the state level, I lead the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP). The program hosts live recertification events around the state, serving over 1,000 licensed pesticide applicators each year. We also produce web-based training modules and license-preparation study manuals. Special training for unlicensed pesticide applicators is also available through a grant from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The PSEP at OSU works closely with the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Pesticides Division.