5.6 Pest Control Methods

2 min readjanuary 4, 2023


Mark Little

AP Environmental Science ♻️

252 resources
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Image courtesy of Pixabay

Pesticide is a spray or chemical used on crops to allow better protection against species harmful to the crops. Their use has many pros and cons when discussing their usage on commercial produce and other agricultural crops.
  • Pesticides effectively eliminate pests from crops, which increases food security and ensures a healthy and consistent food supply.
  • Malaria and Lyme disease, among others, are protected against since pests that carry them are no longer able to transmit them to humans.
  • They can be used against parasitic or invasive species to better protect needed species and plants.
  • They are very toxic to species not meant to be targeted (birds, bees, mammals, aquatic species).
  • They cause high levels of contamination through soil and runoff, which can lead to leaching.
  • Pesticides have been known to cause cancer, birth defects, and other neurological problems due to their potency.
  • They can be expensive to use, especially in abundance, and pests will develop tolerances which drives up usage and its associated cost.
It's important to carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of using pesticides and to use them responsibly to minimize negative impacts.


Any substances used to “control” different types of pests. These “pests” include plants and animals. Four common types of pesticides include herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides and insecticides.  


Herbicides are pesticides specifically targeted towards vegetation, like grasses or weeds. They can be either selective or non-selective, meaning that they can be selectively used to target one species or otherwise used to kill all present growing plants. A recent development in herbicide usage revealed that Roundup, a popular pesticide brand, was being linked to higher rates of cancer due to the presence of glyphosate in their product.


A fungicide is a type of pesticide that is used to control fungal infections. Fungicides can be applied to plants, seeds, or soil to prevent or treat fungal diseases. They work by disrupting the growth or reproduction of fungi or by preventing the fungi from entering or colonizing the treated plant.


A rodenticide is a type of pesticide that is specifically designed to kill rodents, such as mice and rats. Rodenticides come in various formulations, including baits, pastes, and traps, and they work by poisoning the rodents through ingestion or inhalation. Rodenticides are often used in agriculture to control rodent pests that can damage crops, but they can also be used in urban and residential areas to control rodent populations and prevent damage to buildings and other structures.


These are pesticides that kill insects. Different types of insecticides can be used to repel insects and be tracked back to their nest, like an ant. These chemicals often kill organisms indiscriminately and end up killing ‘good’ insects accidentally. Bee populations are in collapse globally due to exposure to insecticides. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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