Household Hazardous Waste Household Disposal Locations Wastemobile Business Hazardous Waste Hazardous Waste Directory Industrial Materials Exchange (IMEX) Financial Help Report a Violator
Hazardous & Toxic Chemicals Natural Landscaping & Pesticides Floods EnviroStars Policy Young Children & Families Choose Safer Household Products Resources for Schools
Library Publications
Spanish Vietnamese Russian Somali Chinese Korean Ukrainian Other Languages

Schools & Childcares – Comply With Pesticide Law

Home >> Natural Landscaping & Pesticides >> Schools & Childcares – Comply With Pesticide Law


Schools & Child Cares – Comply With Pesticide Law

If you or your contractor use pesticides in public K-12 schools or licensed child care centers, Washington state law (external link) requires that you

  • Give pest control policies and methods to parents, guardians, and staff who ask for them.
  • Notify parents, guardians, and staff at least 48 hours before pesticides are used with the following exceptions:
    • When the product being used is an antimicrobial or bait inaccessible to children, or during emergency applications of a pesticide.
    • If the school or child care is unoccupied for at least two days after application.
  • Post signs when pesticides are used.

    Rules for licensed family home child cares are slightly different

    If your school or child care manages pests using integrated pest management you will

    • Use fewer pesticides.
    • Create less paperwork.

    What parents can do about pesticide use at schools and child cares

    • Ask your school or child care (external link) to consider using IPM. Use this ten step process (external link) to encourage your school or child care to adopt a less-toxic pest management policy.
    • Contact the school or child care and ask about its pesticide use and notification policy.
    • Ask to see the annual pesticide use report.
    • Get information about the products used at the school or child care from the Garden Hotline at or 206-633-0224.
    • Volunteer to help with weeding. Many schools have Adopt-a-Flowerbed programs for student and parent volunteers.
    • Learn more about gardening without pesticides (external link).
    • See pesticide misuse? Call Washington State Department of Agriculture at 1-877-301-4555 (toll-free).