A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for defoliating or desiccating plants, preventing fruit drop, inhibiting sprouting, or 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.

Briefly, pesticides include (but are not limited to) herbicides (weed killers), insecticides, fungicides, nematicides, rodenticides, piscicides (fish killers), molluscicides (kill mollusks), algicides, slimicides, insect repellents, insect growth regulators, some other chemicals.

Yes, herbicides are pesticides. Unfortunately, the term "pesticide" is often used interchangeably with "insecticide", and thus we frequently see and hear the phrase "pesticides and herbicides". However, herbicides are pesticides under FIFRA and are regulated as such.

A termiticide is any pesticide or treated article intended to protect a structure against subterranean termites. The definition includes baits, all conventional soil-applied termiticides regardless of their mode of action, wood-treatment products such as borates when applied during or after construction, and construction materials impregnated with insecticides and intended to protect the structure from attack. It also includes stainless steel mesh, uniform-size sand or gravel materials, or other physical barriers for which termite control, termite detection, or termite mitigation claims are made. (SCPCA 2006)

If a company or individual claims a product will control a pest, then that product is a pesticide. A device, instrument or contrivance, subject to U.S. EPA regulation, intended for trapping, destroying, repelling, or mitigating insects or rodents, or mitigating fungi, bacteria or weeds, or such other pests, but not including equipment used for the application of pesticides when sold separately from the device is also considered to be a pesticide.

All pesticides are categorized into two (2) groups for regulatory purposes by the EPA. These are Unclassified (General Use) and Restricted Use (RUPs). Restricted Use Pesticides may only be purchased and used (used in the broad sense to include opening the container, mixing, loading, applying, and rinsing empty containers) by Certified Applicators or persons under their direct supervision. In South Carolina Certified Applicators include Certified Private, Commercial and Non-commercial Applicators.

For more information, such as additional materials that are and are not pesticides, see > > EPA's What is a pesticide?

Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP)

A Restricted Use Pesticide is a pesticide that is available for purchase and use only by certified pesticide applicators or persons under their direct supervision. This designation is assigned to a pesticide product because of its relatively high degree of potential human and/or environmental hazard even when used according to label directions.

Click here for more information on Restricted Use Pesticides.