History of Pesticides

Pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to kill pests, including insects, rodents, fungi and unwanted plants (weeds). Pesticides are used in public health to kill vectors of disease, such as mosquitoes, and in agriculture, to kill pests that damage crops. By their nature, pesticides are potentially toxic to other organisms, including humans, and need to be used safely and disposed of properly.

Pesticides can save farmers' money by preventing crop losses to insects and other pests; in the U.S., farmers get an estimated fourfold return on money they spend on pesticides. One study found that not using pesticides reduced crop yields by about 10%. Another study, conducted in 1999, found that a ban on pesticides in the United States may result in a rise of food prices, loss of jobs, and an increase in world hunger.

There are two levels of benefits for pesticide use, primary and secondary. Primary benefits are direct gains from the use of pesticides and secondary benefits are effects that are more long-term.

Our pesticides can be classified by target organism as insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and plant growth regulators.

Pesticides in Perspective - Crop Protection Association

Pesticides in Perspective - Modern Farming and Biodiversity

Pesticides in Perspective - Residues in Food