Discover The Top 11 Most Common Pesticides Used In Agriculture

Even though there are so many pesticides for pest control, there are the most common pesticides used in Agriculture that will give an added advantage to getting rid of pests.

Sometimes it may be due to price, availability, effectiveness, etc. that these pesticides are more common than the rest.

In this article, all the facts you need to know about the most common pesticides used in agriculture are discussed. Firstly, let’s begin by understanding what a pesticide is.

What are Pesticides?

Pesticides are chemical substances that are used to control pests. The term pesticide includes different types of chemicals, such as:

  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Nematicides
  • Molluscicides
  • Piscicides
  • Avicides
  • Rodenticides
  • Bactericides
  • Insecticides
  • Animal repellents
  • Antimicrobials
  • Fungicides

Herbicides make up 80% of pesticide use and are used to protect crops from weeds, fungi, and insects. Alternaria can control the aquatic weed Salvinia.

Extensively, a pesticide can be said to be a chemical like a carbamate or a biological agent like a virus, a bacterium, or a fungus that hinders, weakens, or kills pests.

These pests include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, molluscs, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes, and microbes that tend to weaken plants and spread disease. Notwithstanding, pesticides have adverse effects on humans.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has defined pesticides as “any substance or mixture of drugs intended for preventing, destroying, or controlling any pest.

“Vectors are human or animal diseases, unwanted plant or animal species that harm food production, processing, storage, transportation, or marketing, or substances used to control pests on animals.”

Pesticides are usually categorized by target organism which entails: herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc. It can also be classified by its chemical pattern, which includes organic, inorganic, synthetic, or biological (biopesticide). Sometimes these differences cannot be pointed out.

We also have classifications based on their physical state (gaseous). It includes microbial pesticides and biochemical pesticides.

Pertinent to note is the rapid development of plant-derived pesticides, or “botanicals.” They entail the pyrethroids, rotenoids, nicotinoids, and the fourth group, which includes strychnine and scilliroside.


Read also: Agriculture In Nigeria: History, Development, Opportunities & Problems [2024]


What are the Most Common Pesticides Used in Agriculture?

Below is a list of the most common pesticides used in agriculture that effectively eliminate pests:

  1. Azoxystrobin: This is a fungicide used on cereals, fruit crops, vegetables, turf, potatoes, rice, peanuts, ornamentals, etc. This chemical does not purge and is unlikely to pollute water bodies.
    It has very low ecological risks to aquatic life, birds, and mammals. It can also be known as Abound, Amistar, Bankit, Heritage, and Quadris.
  2. Tebuconazole: This is a substance used in the treatment of pathogenic and foliar plant fungi on feed and food crops.
  3. Thiabendazole: This fungicide is used to prevent mould, rot, decay, and smudge on fruits and vegetables. It is non-toxic to honey bees.
  4. Dicloran: is a commonly utilized fungicide and is used on different ornamentals, fruit and vegetable crops like apricots, snap beans, carrots, celery, cherries, cucumber, endive, fennel, garlic, grapes, lettuce, nectarines, onions, peaches, plums, potatoes, prunes, rhubarb, shallots, etc.
  5. Atrazine: This herbicide is popularly used, and it is very effective and cheap. It helps eradicate noxious weeds in primary crops. It hurts groundwater and can cause a male frog (an amphibian) to change gender. It is prohibited in Europe.
  6. Fluridone: This substance is used to prevent aquatic weeds in freshwater ponds from floating or emerging. It’s an herbicide.
  7. Trifluralin: This herbicide is insoluble in water and does not leave sediment on crops. Hence, sediments only occur in root tissues.
    It is deemed a pre-emergence herbicide. It’s used on grass, to control broadleaf weeds, and on some fruit and vegetable crops, flowers, and shrubs such as cotton, alfalfa, sunflowers, and soybeans.
  8. Chlorpyrifos: This is an effective insecticide used in curbing insects like cutworms, corn rootworms, cockroaches, grubs, flea beetles, flies, termites, fire ants, lice, etc.
    It is mostly used as an insecticide on crops like grain, cotton, field, fruit, nut, and vegetable crops.
    And also on lawns and ornamental plants. The use of chlorpyrifos poses a serious threat to aquatic life, wildlife, and honeybees.
  9. 2,4-dimethylphenyl formamide (DMPF): It is a multi-purpose insecticide but is mainly used on mite- or tick-infested dogs. Amitraz, as it is called, is a non-systemic acaricide and insecticide.
  10. Acetamiprid: This contact neonicotinoid insecticide is primarily aimed at sucking-type insects.
    It can be smeared into the soil and can also be served as a foliar spray on apples, cherries, lettuce, peas, peppers, house and garden plants, plums, etc.
  11. Thiamethoxam: This insecticide has been categorized as a neonicotinoid. It is used to impede insect infestations. Insects like; aphids, thrips, beetles, centipedes, millipedes, sawflies, leaf miners, stemborers, and termites.


Read also: Cassava Pests; Top 10 Cassava Pests in 2021


What is the Most Common Pesticide Used in Agriculture?

Common Pesticides Used In Agriculture
Picture of the Most Common Pesticide Used in Agriculture (Chlorpyrifos)

Of all the common pesticides used in agriculture, chlorpyrifos is the most common. We will be seeing a little about this chemical, which has proven to be effective in curbing pests in agriculture, homes, and public places.

Chlorpyrifos was first enlisted as an insecticide in 1965 and was later endorsed by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2006.

The only accepted way for indoor use of chlorpyrifos is in containers with treated bait. Chlorpyrifos can be classified as an organophosphate insecticide. Real chlorpyrifos consists of white or colourless crystals.

It has this unique skunky smell that can be passed for that of a rancid egg or rotten garlic. It is useful in the control of diverse kinds of pests like; termites, mosquitoes, roundworms, etc.

According to the World Health Organization, chlorpyrifos can be modestly dangerous for humans based on its perceptive toxicity.

One is likely to suffer neurological effects, persistent developmental disorders, and even autoimmune disorders when excessively exposed to this chemical.

Exposure to chlorpyrifos during pregnancy can cause damage to the mental development of the child. Home use of this chemical was banned in the US.

In agriculture generally, it is one of the most popularly used organophosphate insecticides in the US and was also one of the most popularly used residential insecticides.

Chlorpyrifos is used in approximately a hundred countries around the world to prevent insects in homes, public or commercial facilities, and most importantly, agriculture. But its use in homes is highly prohibited in so many countries.

According to Dow, “Chlorpyrifos is registered to be used in nearly 100 countries and is annually applied to approximately 8.5 million crop acres.”

It’s suitable for crops like cotton, corn, almonds, and fruit trees, including oranges, bananas, and apples. However, it is not suitable for the tomato crop, as it kills the whole plant within the space of two days.

It was tallied by the EPA that between 1987 and 1998, roughly 21 million pounds of chlorpyrifos were used annually in the US.

In 2001, chlorpyrifos was rated 15th amongst all pesticides used in the United States, with a rough estimate of 8 to 11 million pounds used. In 2007, it was rated the 14th most-used pesticide ingredient in agriculture in the US.


Read also: Pest Control; All You Need To Know About Pest Control in Farms


How to Apply the Most Common Pesticides Used In Agriculture

Chlorpyrifos is usually procured as a 23.5% or 50% liquid concentrate. 0.5% is the approved concentration for direct-spray pinpoint applications. And a 0.03–0.12% mix is recommended for wide-area applications in the US.



There are so many pesticides that can be effectively used in preventing pests and pest diseases, but lucky for you, we have mentioned the most common pesticides used in agriculture.

In our list, we have taken a keen interest in the common pesticides used in agriculture and have given special attention to how to use them.

The most common pesticide is widely used to prevent pests and their concurring effects on crops and even humans alike.

Thank you for reading!

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