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Pesticides vs. Insecticides

Learn the difference between pesticides and insecticides in this Howcast pest control video with expert Jeff White.


My name is Jeff White and I'm a research entomologist for Bed Bug Central and the host of Bed Bug TV I have no idea how I got into bugs and bed bugs and here I am six years later and having a lot of fun working with bed bugs and I'll be talking to you about pest control. You found some pest in your house and you're looking for the right way to get rid of them. Well what is a pest and what is a pesticide? Is the pest the inlaws that are visiting for the week? I hope that's not what you find is a pest, but you never know. Is it the mouse that you just saw run across the kitchen? Both could be defined as a pest because a pest is something you don't want in a situation. Many people don't think of a ladybug as a pest. You know they think of it walking around something like a flower, something cute, a sticker you put on your car of a ladybug. But if you home is being infested by hundreds and thousands of ladybugs in the fall because they're looking to hide in your house for the winter, you may quicker find yourself considering ladybugs a pest. And so the definition of a pest is something in the situation that is unwanted and then a pesticide is something that you're going to use to get rid of that problem. And in terms of a pesticide, a lot of people don't consider say bleach as a pesticide. But if I have some ants say walking around on a counter inside my kitchen, and I take say bleach and spray those ants with that bleach, that bleach went from being a cleaning agent to a pesticide because I used it to get rid of the pests that were walking around on the counter top. And that's the difference between a pest and what a pesticide is. Now an insecticide is just something that you're going to use to get rid of an insect and so a spray that you buy in a local store that you spray in a wasp's nest is an insecticide. Something you use to get rid of an insect that you didn't want. A rodenticide is something you use to get rid of rodents. An herbicide is something you use to get rid of weeds, or herbs. And so those are just smaller groups of what we define as pesticides. Things to get rid of something in an unwanted situation whether it's ladybugs, wasps, or in laws. Actually no you don't want to get rid of those but maybe you do but we'll talk about that in a different episode. But that's the difference between a pesticide and an insecticide.

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