What exactly are pesticides and how do I select which one to use.

Originally posted in the Licking County Agricultural News, By: Dean Kreager

I was reminded by a phone call this week that there is a lot of misunderstanding about “Pesticides”.  This seems to have become a dirty word.  Many associate the word with death and destruction.  According to law a pesticide is “Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest”.  Part of the confusion comes from products such as Roundup®.  This was originally a systemic broad spectrum herbicide that killed the majority of plants it was sprayed on.  The active ingredient is glyphosate.  Now many people refer to all glyphosate products as Roundup although there are many other brands.  To add to the confusion Roundup® is now also on the label of products that do not contain glyphosate but have other active ingredients.  These products include insecticides and selective herbicides for lawns.  This has led to the confusion that Roundup kills everything.

Home made weed and bug killers are also pesticides.  Use of all of these products are regulated by pesticide laws that need to be followed.    The shelves at garden stores are loaded with a wide variety of products and it is up to you to be sure you are using the correct product in the correct way.   Click here for a fact sheet providing a good understanding of pesticides and how to select and use them.

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