Molecular Expressions: The Pesticide Collection
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The term pest derives from the Latin pestis for plague and is used to describe plants (weeds), vertebrates, insects, mites, pathogens and other organisms that occur where we do not want them. Large agricultural endeavors have intensified the problem by concentrating a large population of pests in discrete areas. With the availability of vast quantities of succulent food and often the absence of natural enemies, pests can reproduce quickly and become a serious agricultural problem. Insects, in particular, often exhibit a dramatic and rapid increase in population size under these conditions. The average soil density of insects is about 9 million per acre with about 10000 "in flight" above it. We have nicknamed our pesticide collection "drugs for bugs" in an attempt to put some humor in an otherwise dangerous collection of neurotoxic chemicals.

The information on this web site is not intended to be a substitute for pesticide labels or Material Safety Data Sheets on specific products. Please read all labels before using any pesticides and contact the manufacturer for more information. Trade names of specific chemicals are used for reference purposes only by Molecular Expressions. No endorsement of these products is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products implied.

The Molecular Expressions Pesticides Collection contains over 50 common pesticides that have been recrystallized and photographed under the microscope. These are presented here to demonstrate the irony between the beautiful patterns generated by crystallized pesticides and the dangerous nature of their mechanism of action. We hope that you enjoy your visit.

The Pesticide links below lead to progressive JPEG images of the "drugs for bugs" that range in size from about 35 Kb up to about 85 Kb.


Aldicarb (Temek) - Honey, something's in the honey.

Aldrin (Aldrex, Aldrite, Octalene) - Organochlorane that gives termites the boot.

Anilazine (Dyrene, Demate, Triasyn) - The perfect cure when there is a fungus among us.

Atrazine - Powerful herbicide that knocks out weeds.

Captafol (Difolatan) - Antifungal chemical for your house and garden.

Carbaryl (Sevin) - Nerve gas to zap your favorite bugs.

Carbofuran (Furadan) - All purpose carbamate for insects, ticks, and fleas.

Chlordane (Belt) - Old standby pesticide to kill termites.

Cyanazine (Bladex, Fortrol, Payze) - Herbicide to help your corn grow tall.

DCPA (Dacthal) - The Weed Society's favorite herbicide.

DDE - The primary metabolite of DDT that doesn't kill bugs.

DDT (Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane) - The world's best known pesticide.

Diallate (Avadex) - Weed-killer that keeps the corn a'coming.

Diazinon (Knox-Out, Spectracide) - Kills those nasty flies and moths.

Dichloran (Botran, DCNA) - Broad-spectrum fungicide with beautiful crystals.

Dichlorvos (DDVP, Vapona) - All-purpose chemical that kills flies and deworms dogs.

Dieldrin (Dieldrex, Dieldrite) - Designed to give your termites a buzz they won't forget.

Endosulfan (Thiodan) - An organochlorine responsible for a major fish kill.

Fenamiphos (Nemacure) - Get the worms out of your tobacco.

Hexachlorobenzene - A fungicide for treating seeds.

Malathion (Cythion) - One of the safest insecticides yet synthesized.

Methotrexate (Amethopterin) - Ubiquitous anti-cancer agent and insecticide.

Monuron (Urox) - Very good weed killer at all stages.

Oxamyl (Vydate) - Broad-spectrum insecticide, acaricide, and nematicide.

Paraquat (Weedol) - Herbicide used to kill marijuana plants.

Parathion (Niran, Penncap-E) - One of the nastiest pesticides ever made.

Pentachlorophenol (PCP, Penta, Weedone) - A very toxic fungicide/insecticide.

Promecarb (Carbamult) - A carbamate insecticide useful for fruits.

Propham (Chem-Hoe) - Another carbamate that displays herbicidal properties.

Propoxur (Baygon) - Wide-spectrum insecticide with "knockdown" power.

Resmethrin (Crossfire, Synthrin) - One of the best house fly remedies.

Stirofos (Tetrachlorvinphos, Gardona, Rabon) - A general purpose insecticide.

Terbacil (Sinbar, Geonter) - A broad-spectrum herbicide for weeds and grasses.

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