Pesticides are used to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any pest. Though often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides and various other substances used to control pests.
It is important that pesticides are only used when necessary, and in accordance with the directions on the label. When exposed to high levels of pesticides, humans can be harmed or poisoned.
If a person has been poisoned by pesticides, you should call the Poisons Information Centre 24 hours a day from anywhere in Australia on 13 11 26 or call triple zero (000) in an emergency.
Symptoms of pesticide poisoning can be mild or severe. These include:
- vomiting or diarrhoea
- change in appetite or thirst
- abdominal pain or cramping
- excessive sweating or salivation
- lack of muscle control or coordination
- mood changes
- breathing difficulties
- rapid heart rate
Follow the links below to find information about pesticides and other forms of pest control.
Last reviewed: August 2016