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Publication #PI-140

Pesticide Use Trends in the United States: Pesticides for Home and Garden Uses1

Frederick M. Fishel2

Introduction

The EPA, in cooperation with the USDA and FDA, is responsible for regulating the production and use of pesticides in the U.S. This document is one of a series that provides data on volumes used and sales of pesticides from the most up-to-date EPA survey available, 2006–2007. This document focuses on the market sector for pesticides used for the home and garden. The intent of this information is only to present an objective profile and does not attempt to interpret, reach conclusions about, or make inferences regarding the data. Conclusions should not be drawn in regards to impacts on human health, the environment, or the economy.

Data Sources

The data reported in this document are based upon EPA estimates. EPA does not have a program devoted specifically to estimating pesticide use; rather, they use the best available information from the public domain and proprietary sources. The data are approximate values and not statistically precise. The sources that EPA consults for compiling this information include the following:

  • The Pesticide Data Center in the Biological and Economic Analysis Division of EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs;

  • Several national database services for compiling agricultural pesticide use data, including the USDA; and

  • Others from private pesticide marketing research companies.

Explanation of Data Components

The home and garden use category includes pesticides applied to homes, lawns, and gardens by homeowners and tenants occupying those spaces. The expenditure data presented in Table 1 separate broad classes of pesticides—herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and other pesticides. The "herbicide" data combine plant growth regulators (PGR) with them, while "fungicides" and "insecticides" exclude sulfur and petroleum oil. Data summarized for "other" pesticides combine the total for nematicides, fumigants, other miscellaneous pesticides, and other chemicals used as pesticides, including sulfur and petroleum oil. The use data shown in Table 2 are presented similarly, except that nematicides and fumigants are presented as a separate category. Table 2 does not cover wood preservatives, specialty biocides, chlorine/hypochlorites, and other chemicals used as pesticides, such as sulfur and petroleum oil. "Other conventional" pesticides include rodenticides and other miscellaneous conventional pesticides. In reporting the amount used, data are presented as pounds of active ingredient (a.i.). Totals may not add precisely due to rounding.

U.S. Home and Garden Pesticide Expenditures

Total expenditures for home and garden pesticide use as a whole were slightly higher in 2007 compared with 2006 (Table 1). The U.S. home and garden pesticide expenditures totaled an average of more than $2.5 billion in both 2006 and 2007. Expenditures on insecticides/miticides accounted for the largest portion of total expenditures—approximately 60% for both years, followed by expenditures on herbicides/plant growth regulators, other pesticides, and fungicides. There was relatively no change in percentage quantities of pesticide expenditures for each class of pesticide between years.

U.S. Home and Garden Pesticide Amount Esed

The U.S. home and garden total pesticide amount used in 2006 and 2007 ranged from 71 to 78 million pounds, depending upon year (Table 2). The largest portion of total U.S. home and garden pesticides used each year was with herbicides at approximately 65 million pounds in 2006 and 55 million pounds in 2007. Insecticide use followed herbicides in 2006; however, fungicides were second in amount used in 2007.

Most Commonly Used Conventional Home and Garden Pesticide Active Ingredients

Table 3 shows the 10 most commonly used conventional home and garden pesticide active ingredients in 2007 compared with 2003 and 2001. The most used active ingredient during all years was 2,4-D, totaling between 8–11 million pounds. Glyphosate was the second most commonly used active ingredient in two of the three years. Of the top 10 active ingredients most used in 2007, seven were herbicides and three were insecticides. Because some commercial applicators apply pesticides in the home and garden sector, there may be some usage reported in the industrial/commercial/governmental market sector.

Additional information

Grube, A., T. Kiely, D. Donaldson, and L. Wu. 2011. Pesticide Industry Sales and Usage: 2006 and 2007 Market Estimates. EPA's Biological and Economic Analysis Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, and Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/pestsales/07pestsales/table_of_contents2007.htm.

Tables

Table 1. 

U.S. Home and Garden Pesticide Expenditures by Pesticide Class—2006 and 2007

Class

Millions $

% of Total

2006

Herbicides/PGR

723

28

Insecticides/Miticides

1,567

61

Fungicides

64

2

Other

213

8

Total

2,567

100

2007

Herbicides/PGR

749

28

Insecticides/Miticides

1,629

61

Fungicides

66

2

Other

220

8

Total

2,664

100

Table 2. 

U.S. Home and Garden Pesticide Amount Used by Pesticide Class—2006 and 2007

Class

Millions Pounds a.i.

% of Total

2006

Herbicides/PGR

46

65

Insecticides/Miticides

16

23

Fungicides

7

10

Nematicides/Fumigants

1

1

Other

1

1

Total

71

100

2007

Herbicides/PGR

43

55

Insecticides/Miticides

14

18

Fungicides

19

24

Nematicides/Fumigants

1

1

Other

1

1

Total

78

100

Table 3. 

Ten Most Commonly Used Conventional Home and Garden Pesticide Active Ingredients (millions pounds active ingredient)

Active Ingredient

Type*

2007

2003

2001

Rank

Range**

Rank

Range

Rank

Range

2,4-D

H

1

8-11

1

8-11

1

8-11

Glyphosate

H

2

5-8

5

5-8

2

5-8

Carbaryl

I

3

4-6

2

6-9

6

2-4

MCPP

H

4

4-6

3

5-8

5

4-6

Pendimethalin

H

5

3-5

4

5-8

3

3-6

Pyrethroids

I

6

2-4

7

2-4

---

<1

Malathion

I

7

2-4

6

3-6

8

2-4

Dicamba

H

8

1-3

9

1-3

7

2-4

Trifluralin

H

9

1-3

---

<1

---

<1

Pelargonic acid

H

10

<1

---

<1

---

<1

*H = herbicide; I = insecticide; F = fungicide.

**Range is the estimate taken from several data sources.

A dash (---) indicates that an estimate is not available.

Footnotes

1.

This document is PI-140, one of a series of the Pesticide Information Office, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 2007. Revised April 2014. Reviewed April 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Frederick M. Fishel, professor, Agronomy Department, and director, Pesticide Information Office; UF/IFAS Extension Gainesville, FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.