Pesticides Illegal in Garbage & Drains Hazardous Waste Safe Substitutes for Pest Control Garden Aphids & Mites: Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap and 1 cup vegetable oil. Add 1 teaspoon of this mixture to a cup of water and spray. Caterpillars: Products containing Bacillus thuringiensis Ants: Boric acid powder or hydramethynon baits Roaches: Boric acid powder See our recommendations for safe substitutes for fertilizers and weed killers. Learn more safe environmental practices for gardeners, homeowners and landscapers. Never Pour Down the Drain Pesticides should never be poured down the drain because they contain toxic chemicals that will contaminate waterways. Instead, dispose of them as hazardous waste. Don't Water the Grass After Absolutely do not water the grass after applying garden chemicals. This runoff ends up in storm drains that feed directly into nearby lakes and rivers. It also reduces the effectiveness of your pesticides. Don't Use if It's Going to Rain Avoid using chemicals before a storm. If you do, they will wash down storm drains and into nearby waterways when it rains. Rinse Empty Concentrate Containers According to federal regulations, containers that held concentrate need to be rinsed out three times before they are thrown in the trash: First, add remaining spray from the container to the tank. Second, add water into the container, swirl and then transfer that to the spray tank as well. Finally, repeat these steps twice. Find more detailed instructions here. If you wait to rinse a container, the mixture may dry and become difficult to remove. Wear PPE Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling pesticides. Ready-to-Use Containers Empty containers that held ready-to-use chemicals can be thrown in the garbage without rinsing them out. Ways to Reduce Use Up Completely The best way to dispose of pesticides is to use them up completely, which reduces how much can leach into the environment. If you’re not going to use them up completely, try giving them away to a friend or neighbor. Avoid Purchasing Concentrate Consider purchasing ready-to-use products. Purchasing concentrations to dilute on your own can expose the body to harmful chemicals. Also the use of under-diluted chemicals is more damaging to the air, water and soil. Keith Homan / Shutterstock.com Use Bait Stations or Insecticidal Soaps Identify your pest problem and use the least toxic option to eliminate those pests (if you must use garden chemicals). Consider using bait stations or insecticidal soaps and oils. Find out more. Did You Know?