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Pesticide Certification: What, Why, and How-To


What are Pesticides?

A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for:

  • defoliating or desiccating plants, preventing fruit drop, or inhibiting sprouting
  • for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any insects, rodents, fungi, bacteria, weeds, or other forms of plant or animal life or viruses, except viruses on or in living man or other animals

A device is any instrument or contrivance, subject to U.S. EPA regulation, intended for:

  • trapping, destroying, repelling, or mitigating insects or rodents
  • mitigating fungi, bacteria or weeds, or such other pests
  • not including equipment used for the application of pesticides when sold separately from the device

When in doubt, ask: Does the product make pesticidal claims? Does the product claim to control a pest? If a company or individual claims a product will control a pest, it is a pesticide. An example is Avon's "Skin So Soft." Initially, Avon did not make any pesticidal claims for Skin So Soft repelling insects. In not making those claims, Avon was not required to register Skin So Soft as a pesticide. Avon has since registered the product as a pesticide with the name Skin So Soft Plus. They now make pesticide claims.