Pesticides are common in our environment, but you may not realize that you are using a pesticide. A pesticide is any substance, or mixture of
substances, that is used to prevent, kill, repel or control insects, plant fungi, weeds,
rodents, predatory animals, or any other plant or animal life form which may infest or be
detrimental to vegetation, humans, animals, or the surrounding environment. A pesticide can also be a substance that defoliates plants. Some common pesticides include Herbicides, which control weed plants. Some common herbicides control weeds in lawns or in gardens. Insecticides, which control or kill insects, Fungicides, which control damaging fungi on plants, Molluscides, which control slugs and snails, and Rodenticides, which control rodents such as mice and rats. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
commonly called EPA, identifies all pesticides in one of two groups. Pesticides are listed as general-use
or restricted-use pesticides. General-use pesticides may be bought over the counter without a pesticide license. Restricted-use pesticides, which are commonly called RUPs, are pesticides that pose a higher risk to people, animals, or the environment. Pesticides that are restricted-use will always be clearly listed as an RUP on the front and top of the pesticide label. Restricted-use pesticides can only be purchased by a person with a pesticide license, and they can only be used by a licensed pesticide applicator. If a pesticide label does not have the Restricted-use statement on the label, it is a general-use product.