National Pesticide Information Center



Indoor Air and Pesticides

People spend the majority of their time indoors at home, school, and at work. Research indicates low levels of pesticides are present in the air of many homes. This may be caused by using pesticides indoors and/or by contaminated dust, dirt and air entering the home from outside.

How can I reduce the amount of pesticides in my indoor air?

  • Consider adopting an IPM approach to control pest problems at home.
  • Only use pesticides that are formulated to be used indoors.
  • Read and follow the label directions.
  • Mix and dilute pesticides outside the home, even when treating indoors.
  • When you apply pesticides outside, close doors and windows.
  • When storing clothes with mothballs in airtight containers, keep them in well-ventilated areas. Open these containers outdoors and air the clothing before bringing it back indoors.
  • Antimicrobials and disinfectants are pesticides too. Use them only when needed and as directed.
  • Ventilate. Good ventilation can reduce the concentration of pesticides in the indoor air.
  • When you hire a Professional Pesticide Applicator for your home or office, make a list of your concerns and questions and ask the Professional about each one. When you are buying a home, ask if there is a record of pesticide treatments.

When controlling weeds and other lawn pests, these steps may reduce pesticide residue in your home, school or office.

  • Consider taking an IPM approach to treating lawn pests.
  • Keep people and pets off treated lawns until they are dry and/or the granules are no longer visible.
  • Remove your shoes at the door.
  • Check pant cuffs and shoes laces for granules that may have become lodged there.

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources:

Last updated January 29, 2014