Pest Away Tips

12 Types of Pesticides and Their Effects on Health and Environment

Pesticides 101: Understanding What’s In Your Pest Control ChemicalsPest management is a critical element of any home maintenance checklist. It’s essential to prevent, mitigate, and exterminate insect pests that may cause damage, destruction, or illness to our families.

Therefore, it’s vital to understand what pesticides are and their active and inert ingredients.

Definition of Pesticide:

A pesticide is a substance, chemical, or compound that’s used to prevent, mitigate, repel, or exterminate insect pests.

Pesticides have different formulations that may include sprays, dusts, baits, and fogs used in homes, gardens, and agriculture.

Importance of Controlling Insect Pests:

Insect pests are carriers of diseases and can cause severe health problems to homeowners.

They can cause structural damage and even become a nuisance. For instance, mosquitoes are known to transmit viruses such as Zika, while fleas can cause discomfort to pets.

Hence, it’s essential to keep our homes pest-free.

What Ingredients Are Found in Pesticides?

Pesticides are made up of two different types of ingredients. The active ingredients are the chemicals that kill and control the insect pests, while the inert ingredients help to make the active ingredients work better.

Active Ingredients:

The active ingredients are the chemicals responsible for controlling, mitigating, preventing, or exterminating insect pests. There are different types of active ingredients used in pesticides, such as conventional, antimicrobial, and biopesticides.

Conventional pesticides are traditional chemicals derived from minerals, petroleum, or synthetic sources. They’re generally broad-spectrum, meaning they can kill several types of pests.

Some of the common conventional pesticides are organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids.

Antimicrobial pesticides are substances that are used to kill or control microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

They’re commonly used in disinfectants, sanitizers, and sterilizers. Some examples of antimicrobial pesticides are chlorine, quaternary ammonium compounds, and hydrogen peroxide.

Biopesticides are made from natural or biological materials that can control pests. They’re generally considered safer than conventional pesticides because they use natural predators and pathogens to control the pests.

Some examples of biopesticides are baculovirus, fungal spores, and predator insects.

Inert Ingredients:

Inert ingredients, also referred to as diluents, carriers, or adjuvants, are used to enhance the performance and effectiveness of active ingredients in pesticides.

They don’t have any pesticide properties on their own, but they help in combining and stabilizing the content of the product.

Inert ingredients also play an essential role in the safety of the product around humans and the environment.

For instance, they can help reduce the amount of active ingredients needed to control the pests, making them safer to use. Examples of inert ingredients are solvents, surfactants, and emulsifiers.


In summary, understanding the ingredients in pesticides is essential for homeowners who use them to control insect pests. Pesticides are a crucial part of pest management, but knowing the components and the impact they have is vital for human and environmental safety.

Active ingredients are the chemicals that kill and control pests, while inert ingredients are added to enhance the performance and safety of the product. Therefore, before purchasing any pesticide, always read the label to know the active and inert ingredients, their intended use, and the recommended safety precautions.

Types of Pesticides

Pesticides are chemical or biological substances applied to control pests that can cause issues with health, crops, or other ecosystems. These substances come in different forms and formulations to address specific pest issues.

Below are different types of pesticides and how they work:

1. Herbicides

Herbicides are chemicals designed to kill or prevent the growth of undesirable plants or weeds.

They come in different classifications based on how they function, such as contact herbicides or systemic herbicides, and can be selective or non-selective. Selective herbicides target specific plants or areas, while non-selective herbicides kill or prevent growth in any plant they come in contact with.

Herbicides work by interfering with plant hormones, photosynthesis, or cellular processes, thus causing death. 2.


As the name suggests, algaecides work to control or prevent the growth of algae in water bodies or other areas where they can cause problems. They come in different formulations, including copper-based, chlorine-based, and hydrogen peroxide-based, to mention a few.

Algaecides work by either suppressing the photosynthesis process in algae or rupturing their cell membranes, preventing them from growing. 3.


Fungicides are pesticides designed to protect plants from diseases caused by fungi. These substances come in different formulations, such as contact, systemic, or translaminar fungicides, depending on the method of application.

By disrupting the fungal growth process, fungicides prevent or control diseases such as mildew, rust, or molds. 4.


Insecticides are substances used to exterminate or prevent insect infestations. They come in different types, including contact, systemic, or residual, depending on the intended method of control.

Insecticides target the nervous system, digestive functions, or progression of insect growth to disrupt their vital processes, eventually leading to death. 5.


Miticides are pesticides designed to deter the growth and spread of mites. These substances come in different formulations, including contact, systemic, or ovicides, based on their intended use.

Miticides prevent or control mite infestations by disrupting their internal functioning, leading to death. 6.


Ovicides are specially formulated pesticides targeting insect or mite eggs. These substances work by suppressing the growth of the eggs or preventing their hatching, thus controlling the growth of the pests.

7. Molluscicides

Molluscicides are designed to exterminate or control snails, slugs, or other mollusks.

These substances come in different formulations such as contact or bait molluscicides. They work by disrupting their feeding process or causing dehydration, leading to death.

8. Rodenticides

Rodenticides are pesticides designed to control the spread of rats, mice, or other rodents.

These substances work by targeting the blood clotting process, leading to internal bleeding and eventual death. 9.


Foggers are commercial pest control devices that release toxic fumes or substances to control insect pests. Foggers come in different types, including ULV cold foggers, thermal foggers, or propane foggers.

They work by releasing the substance into the air, reaching every corner of the room or building, and controlling insect pests. 10.

Insect Growth Regulators

Insecticides Growth Regulators (IGRs) are pesticides that target specific stages of insect growth or reproduction. They work by disrupting the insect’s hormonal balance, leading to abnormal growth or reproduction, eventually leading to death.

11. Pheromones

Pheromones are substances that mimic or interrupt insects’ mating habits, causing them to cluster, disperse, or act abnormally.

Pheromones can be used to attract pests to specific areas for extermination or disrupt their normal mating habits. 12.


Synergists are substances used to enhance the effectiveness of other types of pesticides. They work by modifying the pest’s metabolism or detoxification pathways, resulting in a more potent effect when pesticide is used in combination.

How Do Pesticides Work? The primary function of pesticides is to kill, suppress the growth of, or deter the reproduction of pests.

Pesticides work via different mechanisms, depending on the type and classification of the pesticide used.

For example, insecticides target the nervous system and interfere with nerve pulse transmission, thus affecting how insects move and act.

Additionally, they affect the insect’s digestion and respiration process. The exposure to insecticides eventually leads to the death of the insect pest.

Similarly, rodenticides work by disrupting the blood clotting process, leading to internal bleeding in rodents. Molluscicides work by disrupting the feeding behavior or causing dehydration.

Fumigants commonly used in grain storage facilities work by interfering with cell division, leading to the eventual death of the insects. Conclusion:

The use of pesticides is an essential aspect of pest control in homes, agriculture, and other ecosystems.

However, it’s vital to understand the specific type of pest issue you have and the correct type of pesticide or formulation to address it. Pesticides come in different forms and classifications, and they work using various mechanisms to eliminate pests.

By understanding the different pesticide types and how they work, homeowners and farmers can make informed decisions on the best pesticide products to use. Can Pesticides Be Harmful to Humans?

Pesticides are chemicals designed to kill and manage pest infestations, protect crops, and maintain clean environments. However, exposure to pesticides can also pose a risk to human health.

Here, we discuss the potential short-term and long-term adverse health effects of pesticide exposure in humans. Short-term Adverse Health Effects:

Short-term exposure to pesticides can cause a range of adverse health effects, such as rashes, blisters, burning, stinging, itching, and irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.

Nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, colds, flu-like symptoms, and even pesticide poisoning can occur with high levels of exposure. Individuals with asthma are particularly vulnerable to the respiratory effects of pesticides.

Long-term Adverse Health Effects:

Long-term exposure to pesticides can have more severe adverse health effects, including cancer, birth deformities, and toxicity, such as the disruption of the nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system. Health risks vary depending on the type of pesticide, intensity, and duration of exposure, as well as individual susceptibility factors.

Infants and Children’s Vulnerability to Pesticide Toxicity:

Infants and children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides due to their developing bodies and unique metabolic systems. The toxic accumulation of pesticides in the body can be life-threatening for infants and children.

Exposure can also result in developmental delays, learning disabilities, and behavioral abnormalities. Can Pesticides Be Harmful to Pets?

Pets can be exposed to pesticides if they inhale, ingest, or contact chemical contents through accidental exposure or inappropriate handling. Here, we cover the potential risks of pesticide poisoning in pets and the symptoms to look out for.

Risk of Pesticide Poisoning for Pets:

Pets are at risk of pesticide poisoning if they come into contact with chemicals through their skin, eyes, nose, and mouth or inhale chemicals in the air. Organophosphate and carbamate pesticides can be exceptionally toxic to pets.

These chemicals are often used in indoor pest control and herbicide sprays, and insect or flea treatments for pets. Pets can either ingest those chemicals directly or through food or water contaminated with chemical residue.

Symptoms of Pet Toxicity:

If pets show signs of pesticide toxicity, it is essential to contact a veterinarian immediately. Symptoms of pet toxicity can include nausea, vomiting, loose bowel movements, excessive drooling, difficulty breathing, seizures or tremors, and ultimately death.


While pesticides play a critical role in pest control and management of environmental issues, they pose a risk to human and animal health. Proper handling of pesticides, caution, and safety measures can help prevent accidental exposure.

Continuous improvement in pesticide research, development, and regulation is essential to mitigate the risks and associated adverse health effects for humans and animals. What Are the Toxic Effects of Pesticides?

Pesticides are designed to kill and manage pest infestations in homes, gardens, and other environments. However, their toxicity can pose serious health risks to people and animals.

Here, we discuss the potential toxic effects of pesticide exposure. Acute Health Consequences:

Acute exposure to pesticides can cause immediate and severe health consequences.

Symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, rashes, blisters, stinging, and permanent blindness. In severe cases, acute pesticide exposure can be fatal.

Chronic Health Consequences:

Long-term exposure to pesticides can cause chronic health effects that may take years to develop. Chronic exposure to pesticides may cause tumors, cancers, and reproduction problems such as infertility and birth defects.

It can also affect the kidneys, liver, lungs, and endocrine system. Children and infants are especially vulnerable to the long-term effects of pesticide exposure.

Is it Safe to Have Your House Sprayed for Bugs?

Pesticide safety in homes should be a top priority for homeowners who use pesticides for pest control.

The following are some tips to ensure your home stays safe from pesticides. Proper Storage of Pesticides:

Ensure that pesticides are stored in a safe and accessible place, away from children and pets.

Pesticides should be kept in closed cabinets that are inconvenient to reach and locked. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding storage and disposal.

Proper Application of Pesticides:

It is vital to follow the manufacturer’s label instructions when using pesticides. Always put on protective gear when dealing with pesticides.

Protective gear such as gloves and face masks can minimize accidental inhalation and touching of the toxic contents. Give a sufficient time interval between the pesticide application and allowing people and pets to enter the treated area.

Never exceed the recommended application dosage. Reason for Application:

It’s important only to apply pesticides when necessary.

Using pesticides without a valid reason or wrong formulations can pose a health risk to your family and pets. Insect repellent formulations that are safe and non-toxic should be adopted when possible.


While pesticides can be effective in controlling the spread of pests, they pose a risk to human and animal health. Homeowners and pet owners should take the necessary precautions when using pesticides and choose safe formulations that are non-toxic and safe for all family members and pets.

These precautions can help protect families from the toxic side effects of pesticide exposure.

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