A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances specifically intended to prevent, repell, destroy or lessen the effect of a pest. The term pesticides is technically a catch-all phrase that specifically means one of the following: insecticide, herbicide, fungicide or any other chemical substances used to control pests.
Pests that pesticides fight or kill may include insects and insect-like organisms, unwanted plants, weeds, fungi, viruses or bacteria that cause plant diseases, mice and other vertebrate animals or any other pest that may attack plants, soil, trees, structures or people.
To be considered a pesticide the substance, either alone or in a chemical combination is defined by law in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
Pesticides & Organics
Despite popular theory, organic crops and other organic products aren't always pesticide-free. Some pesticides are allowed for use when producing or handling certified organic products. However, any pesticide used by an organic farm or business must be an allowed substance on the National List.
While organic farmers may use an organic pesticide to fight off pests, they tend to use less evasive, and less expensive pest control methods first such as crop rotations, crop diversity and natural pest predators.