What Is A Pesticide?
By definition, a pesticide is a chemical that is used to prevent or repel pests. We commonly think of pesticides as being used to manage termites, ants, or bees that cause damage to our family or our home. However, pests can be any insect, rodent, bacteria, virus, fungi, plant, or other organism that causes harm or disease to our environment. Despite the negative connotation of pesticides, they are not all bad by definition. Insect repellents and mildew sprays are considered pesticides, and are monitored under the same strict requirements as any other, more potent pesticide.
Consider that algaecide used in fish aquariums and pools, and disinfectants used to clean kitchen counters, are pesticides that are highly regulated under state and federal law. The Office of Pesticide Programs of the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, regulates pesticides in the United States. There are many types of pesticides, and they vary in purpose. For instance, insecticides control insects, while herbicides control weeds. Common pesticides found in most homes include insect sprays, repellants, cleaners, and pool chemicals.
Pesticides typically have a few active ingredients that are biochemically or biologically engineered to combat a particular pest. Pesticides that are biologically engineered, or found to be naturally occurring, are typically safer and more effective than those biochemically engineered. Additionally, pesticides are primarily made up of inert ingredients. In fact, inert ingredients make up over ninety percent of the product. Thus, consider what you are using from over the counter, and always read the labels. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local pest control professional at Cantu Pest & Termite.