"Pesticide" can refer to any substance that is made to control or prevent any pest, including weeds, insects, rodents, fungus, and more. (Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and rodentcides are all pesticides.)
These include common household products used to control ants, mice, and roaches, and products frequently used in the garden or lawn to control dandelions, ragweed, poison ivy, and other weeds, as well as stinging pests like wasps and mosquitoes.
Insects, rodents and weeds can threaten the health and well-being of our families and communities. Pesticides help protect us from diseases carried by insects (like West Nile virus and Lyme disease), illnesses caused by contact with rodent droppings, urine, or dander, or caused by poison ivy or oak and ragweed. For example:
Controlling weeds and insects keeps our homes pest-free and our lawns, parks, and other outdoor spaces usable. Think about the last time you saw a vacant lot or abandon home. Without proper weed control, playgrounds, soccer and softball fields, and parks would be just as overgrown making it impossible to enjoy our community green space. Without effectively controlling weeds the usability and enjoyment of, these community recreation areas, would be greatly reduced. Weeds also create cracks in sidewalks and roads leading to frequent repairs.
Remember this: the label is the law. Reading and following instructions will make sure the pesticide is used safely and will be effective in controlling your pest.
When dealing with a bug, rodent, weed, or other pest problem on your property, it's important to choose right and use right by following these steps:
Of course, if you'd rather leave it to a professional, you can also hire a professional applicator to identify and treat your bug or weed problem.
Pesticides provide protection for you and your family against disease and infection caused by insects, rodents and some weeds, while also keeping your outdoor spaces accessible and enjoyable. It's important to remember that pesticides are rigorously tested for their potential human health and environmental impact before they can be registered and sold for use. The pesticides available for use in your home have been determined by the Environmental Protection Agency to have a reasonable certainty of no harm to human health. More details about the EPA's testing process are available on the agency web site.
Just as pesticides help protect us from stinging and biting insects, pesticide products help create an enjoyable backyard experience for our dogs and cats.
As always, be sure to read and follow the label when applying pesticide products, which includes directions for proper storage and use. To protect your dog or cat from backyard hazards, try the following:
Who regulates pesticides and their use? How much testing is done before they are available to the public?
Pesticides are rigorously tested for their potential human health and environmental impact before they can be registered and sold for use. The pesticides available for you to use in your home have been determined by the Environmental Protection Agency to have a reasonable certainty of no harm to human health. Product registration by the EPA can take up to 10 years and involves up to 120 different tests and studies that can take years to complete. More details about the EPA's testing process are available on the agency web site.
IPM stands for integrated pest management (IPM). IPM is a strategic system for controlling pests often used by schools, communities and farms, which involves three steps:
Basically, IPM creates a process for schools and others to follow to make sure they are making good decisions about pest control and pesticide use.
The EPA review process rigorously tests all pesticides for potential environmental impact before the product can be registered. Product registration by the EPA can take up to 10 years and involves up to 120 different tests and studies over the course of weeks, months, or even years. And once a product is registered, the EPA continues to study and test the pesticide to ensure its environmental safety. More details about the EPA's testing process are available on the agency web site.
The National Pest Management Association provides a few simple steps can help prevent pest problems, including:
Similar to the effectiveness of preventative health measures, these steps aren't fool-proof for preventing pest problems. When insects, rodents and weeds reach a certain level, it's necessary to find a way to control them.
While organic and natural products are created using compounds from plants or other organisms, it's still important to remember that they must be used according to label directions to make sure they are used safely.