Illegal or Counterfeit Pesticides
Illegal pesticides usually come into the United States from foreign countries where they are sold on the street, over the internet or in small neighborhood stores. These pesticides are illegal because they have not been evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure their use will not harm people or the environment. Common illegal pesticides include "Tres Pasitos" and "Miraculous or Chinese Chalk". Illegal pesticides are often sold without proper use directions or warnings on the labels. The packages frequently make false claims like "harmless to human beings and animals" and "safe to use." These products are not only illegal, but they may be much higher in toxicity than the legal products.
Counterfeit pesticides are also illegal. Counterfeit pesticides are produced and packaged to look like legal products, but their contents may not match their labels. Counterfeit products may have less active ingredient than the legal version or they may contain cheaper, possibly more toxic, active ingredients. Because of this, counterfeit pesticides can be ineffective or dangerous to people, pets and the environment. One example of counterfeit pesticide products being sold in the U.S. are counterfeit versions of EPA approved flea and tick treatments for dogs and cats.
To avoid buying illegal or counterfeit pesticides, keep these tips in mind:
- Buy products from reputable stores or dealers and avoid internet deals that seem to be too good to be true.
- Never buy pesticides that do not have instructions written in English.
- Ensure the product has a proper label that includes an EPA Registration number.
- Make sure the label clearly identifies the active ingredient names. All EPA registered pesticides list the active ingredient(s) clearly on the label.
To learn more about illegal pesticides, choose from these topics:
- Illegal Pesticide Products - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Counterfeit Pesticide Products for Dogs and Cats - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- The Global Increase in Counterfeit Pesticides - University of Florida IFAS Extension
- Protect Your Business: Avoid Selling Illegal Pesticides - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
If you have questions about a potentially illegal or counterfeit product, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (7:30am-3:30pm PST), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.