What Are the Benefits of Herbicides & Pesticides?

Chemicals used to control both insect and vegetative pests are applied regularly in 70 million homes and 900,000 farms across the United States, according to North Carolina State University. Though the negative effects of such chemicals are often publicized, pesticides and herbicides extend several benefits to the area in which they're applied.


Manually removing pests such as weeds and unwanted wildlife or bugs can be unfeasibly labor intensive, depending both on the pest and the size of land that needs to be treated. An application of herbicides or pesticides can quickly eliminate the problem with less labor involved.

Residual Control

Some herbicides are designed to linger in the soil long after the initial application, offering long-term control of unwanted vegetation. This helps control persistent weeds such as perennial grasses, and helps plants grow without competing with weeds, according to Michigan State University.

Livestock Health

Pesticides control insects that may bite livestock, causing physical discomfort and stress or spreading disease. Such products also limit the amount of poisonous plants present in grazing areas. Both help improve the health and production rate of various types of livestock, according to Purdue University.

Human Health

Pesticides are widely used to control vermin and insects that carry dangerous diseases that threaten humans, such as malaria, yellow fever and Rock Mountain spotted fever, according to North Carolina State University. Pesticide chemicals are also widely used to maintain sanitation-threatening insects like roaches in kitchens.

Ecosystem Balancing

The government and landscapers often use herbicides to help keep non-native invasive vegetation from overwhelming natural ecosystems, according to the University of Florida. This helps preserve wildlife and vegetation environments and helps sustain the long-term environmental health of a region.

Keywords: pesticide benefits, herbicide benefits, garden chemicals

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.