A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for:
Though often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances used to control pests.
Under United States law, a pesticide is also any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant.
Pests are living organisms that occur where they are not wanted or that cause damage to crops or humans or other animals. Examples include:
Many household products are pesticides. All of these common products are considered pesticides:
By their very nature, most pesticides create some risk of harm – Pesticides can cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment because they are designed to kill or otherwise adversely affect living organisms.
At the same time, pesticides are useful to society –Pesticides can kill potential disease-causing organisms and control insects, weeds, and other pests.
Biologically-based pesticides, such as pheromones and microbial pesticides, are becoming increasingly popular and often are safer than traditional chemical pesticides. In addition, EPA is registering reduced-risk conventional pesticides in increasing numbers.
A pest control “device” is any instrument or contrivance (other than a firearm) intended for trapping, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. A black light trap is an example of a device.