Pesticides & Fertilizers

Links to More Information (Center for Disease Control - Parasite information) (National Pesticide Information Center - fact sheets and reference documents) (EPA - pesticide information, regulation, and links) (EPA - Safe pesticide disposal, including Español) (info on organochlorine pesticides) (guidelines on storage life for pesticides) Pesticide use around pets (information about Diazinon, a banned substance) (alternatives to Diazinon and Dursban) (information about Diazinon and product names that contain Diazinon) (Gardening use of Diazinon)


Be careful with pesticides and fertilizers. Pesticides control insects, rodents, molds, diseases and weeds. Fertilizers help plants to grow, produce fruit and flowers. Non-organic pesticides and fertilizers maybe helpful when properly applied but they can also be dangerous to the environment including animals, beneficial insects and humans. Even organic products can be dangerous when improperly handled or in high concentrations.

Usage Guidelines for Pesticides

  1. Follow label directions carefully.
  2. Apply the minimum amount.
  3. Don’t buy more than you need.
  4. Wear protective, non-absorbent clothing and eye-wear!
  5. Never apply on windy or rainy days. Why?
  6. Write the purchase date on the label. Why?
  7. Store safely following these guidelines.
  8. Consider natural or least-toxic control methods. There are many options at your local supply store.

Disposal Guidelines

Many pesticides and fertilizers cannot be removed by the Wastewater Treatment Plant so they make their way into our waterways. The city is fined for every detected violation and more importantly, the animals and plants suffer! Follow these guidelines:

  1. Mixing containers are also hazardous waste. Triple rinsed containers may be discarded in regular trash. Otherwise, take them to WPWMA.
  2. Do not pour unused pesticides or fertilizers down a drain in your house, into the toilet, down the storm drain, into the gutter or onto soil and gravel. Pour unused chemicals into a sealable container (like a milk jug or unbreakable jar with a tight sealing lid), label the container with the pesticide or fertilizer name and date and take it to WPWMA for proper disposal.
  3. Control, contain and clean-up any spilled chemicals with kitty litter. Collect the material into a bag, seal and dispose of at WPWMA.

Of Special Concern - Diazinon

Old pesticides might contain banned substances like organochlorine pesticides which have been detected at the Auburn Wastewater Treatment Plant. Did you know that pesticides can degrade over time and lose effectiveness? Then you apply too much and contribute to pesticide pollution. Take old pesticides to WPWMA using the proper guidelines.

Alternatives to Chemical Pest Control

There are alternatives to chemical pest control such as Integrated Pest Management and biological control. Below are links to outside organizations that provide additional information and in some cases, direct assistance with your pest control issues. (Sacramento Master Gardeners) County Master Gardeners) (Sacramento Stormwater Coalition Water Wise Pest Control Program - fact sheets) (Safer Pest Control Project - fact sheets and other helpful information) (Wikipedia entry on biological pest control with helpful definitions and alternatives)

Listing these organizations does not imply endorsement. Please consult with a professional when considering alternatives you can use for controlling insects, weeds, lice and other noxious pests.