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Herbicides and Pesticides

By: Nicole Cervi, Missy Feola,

Natasha Hale, Nicole Kurtinaitis,
Alexandra Metcalfe, Nik von Stackelberg

What are the Differences Between

Pesticides and Herbicides?
By: Missy Feola

What are Pesticides?

Pesticides are generally chemicals, biological
agents, antimicrobial, or disinfectants.
Pesticides are generally used to kill or repel pests
like insects to protect plants.

What are Herbicides?

Herbicides are a type of pesticide.
There are two types of herbicides. Some
are selective in what they eliminate, while
others destroy any plant they touch.
They are often used to control weeds.
All herbicides are pesticides, but not all
pesticides are herbicides.

Background of Pesticides
The "first generation" pesticides were largely highly
toxic compounds, such as arsenic and hydrogen
cyanide. They were abandoned because they were
either too ineffective or too toxic.
Then switched to Synthetic Organic pesticides.
The first important one was DDT which
was discovered in 1939 by a Swiss
Chemist Paul Muller.
It was used to rid soldiers of parasitic
insects in WWII, and, until the 1960's
to control mosquitoes in residential
areas of the US.

Background of Herbicides
Herbicides were first researched and discovered in
both the UK and the US to secretly create chemical
warfare agents in 1941.
First herbicide discovered was 2,4-D. Wasnt used
until 1946. Its low cost has led to continued usage
today, and it remains one of the most
commonly used herbicides in the world
Herbicide use spread rapidly through
the United States in the 1950s and
1960s, replacing millions of agricultural
workers formerly employed in weeding.

Types of Pesticides
and Herbicides
By: Nicole Cervi

On the NYS Department of Environmental
Conservation Site, there is a list of over 12,000
registered pesticides in NYS.
New York Pest Extermination Materials: We use the
least toxic pest extermination materials in NY needed
because we care about the environment and want to give
you the results that you expect. Many of the products
that we use are from plant essential oils or are derived
from flowers and other natural materials.

Chemically-Related Pesticides
Some examples are:

Organophosphate pesticides
Carbamate pesticides
Organochlorine insecticides
Pyrethroid pesticides
Microbial pesticides
Plant-Incorporated-Protectants (PIPs)
Biochemical pesticides

Antifouling agents

Disinfectants and sanitizers
Microbial pesticides


Control algae in lakes, canals, swimming pools, water
tanks, and other sites
Kill or repel organisms that attach to underwater
surfaces, such as boat bottoms
Kill microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses)
Attract pests (for example, to lure an insect or rodent
to a trap). (However, food is not considered a
pesticide when used as an attractant.)
Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived
from such natural materials as animals, plants,
bacteria, and certain minerals
Kill microorganisms
Kill or inactivate disease-producing microorganisms
on inanimate objects
Kill fungi (including blights, mildews, molds, and
Produce gas or vapor intended to destroy pests in
buildings or soil
Kill weeds and other plants that grow where they are
not wanted
Kill insects and other arthropods
Kill mites that feed on plants and animals
Microorganisms that kill, inhibit, or out compete
pests, including insects or other microorganisms
Kill snails and slugs
Kill nematodes (microscopic, worm-like organisms
that feed on plant roots)
Kill eggs of insects and mites
Biochemicals used to disrupt the mating behavior of
Repel pests, including insects (such as mosquitoes)
and birds
Control mice and other rodents

Some Examples
Aim EW
Aim EW is a post-emergent contact herbicide that controls broadleaf weeds
and suckers. It's effective when sprayed on developing plants no taller than 4
inches. The vegetation dries up within a few hours of exposure to the
chemical and dies in a few days.
Finale is a glufosinate-based translocated herbicide. It's used in beds of cut
flowers to prevent weeds and to kill those that germinate.
Trimec 899 Broadleaf Herbicide
Trimec is formulated with the salts of three chemicals as its active
ingredients to control lawn weeds. It kills dandelions, henbit, chickweed and
a large number of other broadleaf weeds.
Buctril Herbicide
Buctril herbicide controls broadleaf weeds in cornfields, sorghum crops,
alfalfa, garlic, onion and mint, among other plants. As a contact postemergence herbicide, Buctril is effective when sprayed on active growing
weeds to provide complete coverage of the plant.
AllDown Green Chemistry Herbicide
AllDown Green Chemistry Herbicide is an organic pesticide for use in
vegetable and flower beds to control weeds and grass. Its active ingredients
are citric acid and garlic. This herbicide controls a number of weeds,
including dandelion, poison ivy, common burdock and bindweed, among




Type of

Mode of







Organic Herbicides
Homemade organic herbicides include:

Corn gluten meal (CGM) is a natural pre-emergence weed control

used in turfgrass, which reduces germination of many broadleaf and
grass weeds.
Spices are now effectively used in herbicides.
Vinegar mainly destroys surface growth, so respraying to treat regrowth
is needed. Resistant plants generally surrender when weakened by
Steam has been applied commercially, but is now considered
uneconomical and inadequate. It kills surface growth but not
underground growth and so respraying to treat regrowth of perennials is
Flame is considered more effective than steam, but suffers from the
same difficulties.
D-limonene (citrus oil) is a natural degreasing agent that strips the
waxy skin or cuticle from weeds, causing dehydration and ultimately
Saltwater or salt applied in appropriate strengths to the rootzone will
kill most plants.

Pesticides and Herbicides

in Nature
Nik von Stackelberg

Benefits vs. Consequences

Protection from
Crop Losses/Yield
Quality of Food

Surface Water
Ground Water
Effect on Soil Fertility
Contamination of Air
and Non-Target
Effect on Non-Target

Protection from Crop Losses

Weeds and pests can cause a large amount of crop loss
depending on location and amount of
pesticides/herbicides applied.
Some studies indicate that a farmer can lose up to 40%
of his crop with pesticides and this figure can nearly
double if pesticides arent used.

Improved Productivity
As the number of crops lost due to pests and other plants
decreases, productivity increases.
Herbicides and pesticides can increase productivity by
decreasing the number of pests and weeds that feed off
of important crops.

Quality of Food
Not only do pesticides and herbicides increase the
number of crops that are successfully harvested each
year, but they increase the quality of food produced.
With less pests in the fields, crops are being grown in an
environment that lets them grow to their fullest without
being fed on by other organisms.
These higher quality fruits and vegetables are then sent
to consumers who use them to cook healthier food.

Surface & Ground Water Contamination

Surface Water Water
collecting on the ground or
in a stream, river, lake,
wetland, or ocean.
Pesticides can reach surface
water (streams, rivers,
lakes, oceans, etc.) through
runoff from treated plants
and soil.

Ground Water- Water

found below the surface
of the earth.
This can be particularly
dangerous if pesticides
or herbicides
contaminate well water.

Effect on Soil Fertility

Heavy pesticide and
herbicide use can cause a
decline in the population of
beneficial microorganisms.
These microorganisms help
plants hold onto nutrients
which are crucial to their

Contamination of Air and Non-Target

Studies consistently find chemical residues within the
The USGS found that every area of the U.S. that has been
sampled contains these chemicals in the atmosphere.
The drifting of pesticides and herbicides is a problem
because they harm certain types of plants that are
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recognized 74
endangered plants that are being harmed by glyphosate
(pesticide) alone.

Effects on Non-Target Organisms

Many times, pesticides and herbicides can
unintentionally harm or kill plants and animals that we
want or need.
Most herbicides are toxic to fish
Certain herbicides are toxic to bees
Many herbicides are also toxic to birds.

Regulations for Herbicides and

By: Natasha Hale

Pesticide Agencies
New York State
Department of
No schools or day cares are
allowed to apply pesticides
to any playgrounds, turf or
athletic field unless theres
an emergency

United States
Protection Agency
(USEPA): used to
determine if pesticides
use in a certain area will
affect species
Ex: alternative ways to
protect self from bugs
instead of using bug spray

DITRAC Tracking Powder

Restricted: not open to
public. Enough risk to health
and/or environment that the
person must properly be
trained to sell, distribute and
use them
Contains strong ingredient
called Diphacinone-controls
Norway rats, roof rats and
house mice

FYI: Federal Law to use this

product inconsistent with the

Herbicide Guidelines
Follow all directions on product labelalso federal law
Must be applied by employee or contractor
and if volunteer must be properly licensed
and have a consent form
Wear protective gear

Used for killing dandelions
and clover-sold to lawn care
professionals only (weed
Reports of dying trees
emerged: suspected Imprelis
is the cause of this
Registered to use in all
states except NYS and
Found it doesn'tt bind with soil
Leaches in to ground water
Will not register until DuPont
has evidence to prove otherwise

How frequently are Pesticides and

Herbicides Used in Organic and
Inorganic Crops
Alexandra Metcalfe

What Makes it Organic

The USDA organic seal verifies that irradiation,
sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited
pesticides, and genetically modified organisms
were not used.
Overall, organic operations must demonstrate
that they are protecting natural resources,
conserving biodiversity, and using only
approved substances.

Are Pesticides and Herbicides Used in

Organic Farming
The five main pesticides used in organic farming
are :
Bt (a bacterial toxin),
Herbicides are not allowed in Organic Farming

Pesticides in North America

Use of Pesticides in New York State

Total Amount of Pesticide Products Applied by
Commercial Applicators and Sold to Farmers in New
York State - 1997
In Gallons
User Category

New York State Total

Commercial Applicators


Sales to Farmers




Use of Herbicides in New York

What Crops has High Levels of

Pesticides and Herbicides

Sweet Bell Peppers
Nectarines (imported)

Sweet Corn (Frozen)
Sweet Peas (Frozen)
Kiwi Fruit

The Affect of Herbicides and

Pesticides on the Fetus and Child
Nicole Kurtinaitis

Mount Sinai School of Medicine Study

The researchers discovered that exposure to
organophosphates during pregnancy have an
affect on childrens cognitive development.
They studied 400 women that were in their third
trimester in a variety of ethnics.
They collected urine samples and tested them
for pesticides during 12 months, 24 months, and
6 to 9 years.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine Study

At 12 to 24 months the children were evaluated
using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.
This is an instrument that measures the
psychomotor, language, and cognitive behavior
in young children.
When the child reaches 6 to 9 years, a skill and
intelligence test is given. It was discovered that
pesticides do in fact have a negative effect on
perceptual reasoning.

A study published in the Journal of National Cancer

institute found that household pesticides use can
increase the risk of childhood leukemia seven times the
75 out of 99 studies on lymphoma and pesticides have
found a link between the two.
A 2004 study proved that toddlers exposed to herbicides
within their first year of life are 4.5 times more likely to
develop asthma by the age of 5.

Ways to Minimize These Affects

During Pregnancy
Avoid contact with the treated area as much as
Seek the least toxic pesticide option available to
controlling your pest
If someone in your family works with pesticides
learn how to minimize your exposure and how to
wash work clothes


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Pictures (all pictures found on google images):