Insecticides & Herbicides


Insects and weeds are common pests of the home garden and landscape. Weeds ruin the appearance of a garden and sometimes prevent the growth of your desired plants. Insects ruin the appearance of the garden and often carry disease to your plants. Insecticides and herbicides are chemicals used to control the population of weeds and insects in the garden.

Insects and Weeds

It is essential to identify the insect and weed you wish to exterminate in the garden before choosing an insecticide or herbicide. Chemicals are only effective against the pest they were designed to destroy. Applying pesticides (a blanket term encompassing both insecticide and herbicide) without identifying the pest may cause poisoning of desirable plants.


Separate equipment should be used in the application of insecticides and herbicides. The mixing of the two chemicals in the same container may cause contamination or a dangerous mix. Herbicide stuck in a hose may kill the plant you are spraying for bugs. Label each sprayer according to the chemical used in it previously.


Mixing must be done according to the instructions on the pesticide label, says the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Always use the recommended proportions and mix them thoroughly.


Apply the pesticide on a day with little wind and no rain to prevent the material from drifting. Drifting pesticide may injure desirable plants or may poison surrounding wildlife. Use a low pressure, large nozzle sprayer to prevent drifting. Pesticide is best applied uniformly no more than 3 to 4 feet away from the body to ensure the best coverage. Spraying should be continuous. Keep the spray even. Clean up yourself after spraying and either dispose of your clothes or wash them. Rinse equipment, but never pour the pesticide down the drain; it is illegal and dangerous.


Most insecticides and herbicides are chemicals poisonous to humans and animals. Common pesticide poisonings, nearly 90 percent, says the University of Missouri Extension, cause minor symptoms such as skin irritation and allergic reactions. Acute effects take place within or close to 24 hours after exposure. Delayed or chronic effects occur long after. Keeping water, eyewash, syrup of ipecac, activated charcoal powder, soap and disposable towels in the area, as well as following mixing and application instructions, often prevent or reduce incidence of severe poisoning.

Keywords: Insecticides, Herbicides, Insecticies and herbicides

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.