Farmers use pesticides to control or eradicate harmful pests that may threaten their crops. According to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, "pesticides" can includes many kinds of chemicals, both natural and synthetic. Any living organism that causes damage to plants, generates economic loss, or transmits disease may be the target of pesticides.
Pesticides commonly targets:
- Insects (insecticides)
- Weeds (herbicides)
- Rodents and small mammals (rodenticides)
- Slugs and snails (molluscicides)
- Mold (fungicides)
- Bacteria and viruses (antimicrobials)
California grows much of the produce consumed in the United States, and as such, pesticides are commonly used throughout California, especially in agricultural communities.
Pesticides are hazardous substances designed to harm unwanted pests, and pesticides have the potential to harm humans as well. Health concerns associated with pesticides include neurodevelomental outcomes, respiratory concerns, cancer and other conditions.
Understanding where and what pesticides are applied in California is important for understanding the health risks from pesticide exposure. To see where agricultural pesticides are used in California, what pesticides are used most often, and how pesticide use has changed over time, visit the Agricultural Pesticide Mapping Tool.
To track the presence of pesticides in California we display information on the amount of pesticides used by agriculture across the state. We receive this data from the Department of Pesticide Regulation.