What Is A Pesticide?


A pesticide is a chemical used to prevent, destroy, or repel pests. Pests can be insects, mice and other animals, weeds, fungi, or microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. Some examples of pests are termites causing damage to our homes, dandelions in the lawn, and fleas on our dogs and cats. Pesticides also are used to kill organisms that can cause diseases.

Most pesticides contain chemicals that can be harmful to people, animals, or the environment. For this reason the Office of Pesticide Programs of the Environmental Protection Agency regulates pesticides in the United States to protect public health and the environment.

Here are some examples of pesticide products we use in our homes

  • Cockroach sprays and baits
  • Mosquito sprays
  • Rat poisons
  • Flea and tick sprays, powders, and pet collars.

Did you know that these common products are considered pesticides?

  • Cleaners used to disinfect the kitchen floor.
  • Cleaning products used to remove the mildew on bathroom tiles.
  • Household plant sprays.
  • Lawn and garden products to kill insects and weeds.
  • Some swimming pool chemicals.


These are some common types of pesticides, and their purposes, used in our homes

Algicides     Control algae in swimming pools and water tanks.
Antimicrobials     Kill microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses).
Attractants     Attractants are traps containing a pesticide and food to lure insects or rodents inside. However, food is not a pesticide even though it certainly attracts pests...like ants at a picnic.
Disinfectants and sanitizers     Kill disease-producing microorganisms in the kitchen and bathroom.
Fumigants     Produce gas or vapor intended to destroy pests in the house or in the ground.
Fungicides     Kill fungi (including blights, mildews, molds, and rusts).
Herbicides     Kill weeds.
Insecticides     Kill insects and other arthropods.
Miticides     Kill mites that feed on plants and animals.
Microbial pesticides     Microorganisms that kill or inhibit pests, including insects or other microorganisms.  Sometimes microorganisms get rid of pests simply by growing larger in numbers, using up the pests' food supply, and invading the pests' environment.
Molluscicides     Kill snails and slugs.
Nematicides     Kill nematodes (microscopic, worm-like organisms that feed on plant roots).
Pheromones     Biochemicals used to disrupt the mating behavior of insects.
Repellents     Repel pests, including insects (such as mosquitoes) and birds.
Rodenticides     Control mice and other rodents.


Source: Environmental Protection Agency
Search All Articles
Related Articles
How To Save On Closing Costs
HomecashsmMany are shocked when they learn how much they owe to close on their mortgage. But there are ways to save before you sign on th
What are the FHA Loan Requirements?
FhaThe FHA makes it easy to secure a home loan. The FHA Loan Requirements are described in detail in this article.
Homeowners Insurance
HomeinstTips on how to shop for homeowners insurance and save money-also avice on flood insurance
Asbestosdanger2_thAn information guide on asbestos and asbestos abatement. Also discusses vermiculite and how it relates to asbestos.

Most Popular
5 Ways To Save On Car Insurance
AutosmHere are a few ways you can save on your car insurance policy.
HOAs and the Fair Housing Act
Fair-housing-logoHOAs cannot discriminate against protected groups.
Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan Program (Section 502)
Familyhouse_thSelf-help loan program to help low-income people afford and build a home.
Meeting Manners Matter
Badmanners1_thCommon sense manners to remember for association meetings.


Zip Code Profiler

Neighborhoods, Home Values, Schools, City & State Data, Sex Offender Lists, more.

Instant Home Value!