Herbicides and Pesticides…What’s the Difference?

Pesticides and Herbicides are often referred to interchangeably but they are very different products with different purposes. One is for killing weeds and the other is for killing insects. Here is an easy way to remember which is which.

Cabbage leaf covered with caterpillas pest
Cabbage worms

Pesticides are for doing away with insects that cause potential harm to crops. In other words the critters farmers see as pests. So…pesticides are for pests.


Herbicides include products like Roundup™ Chemicals designed to be sprayed on crops or lawns to selectively kill weeds but not the crop itself. Most of the “weeds” are herbs. The dandelion, for example, is one of the most beneficial herbs for our health on the planet. But when you are trying to grow something else, dandelions can be problematic. So…herbicides are for herbs.

However you feel about the rampant use of pesticides and herbicides  in our food system, at least now you have an easy way to remember which is which. What to do about them is another matter.

manual weed conrol