Herbicides are chemicals used to kill or inhibit the growth of plants. There are species-specific herbicides that will affect only certain plants, and non-specific herbicides, which affect any plant they come in contact with.
Herbicides can work on contact (fast acting) or systematically by being absorbed into the roots and shutting down plant functions from the inside of the plant.
Herbicides are helpful to home gardeners and farmers alike. When undesired plants begin taking over space, water, light, and nutrients from desired plants, they can crowd out these desired plants and even kill them. Using herbicides can help to achieve a specific aesthetic in a garden or increase crop productivity, and many herbicides are available for home use and purchase.
A concern with herbicides is the damage they can potentially cause to aquatic life due to runoff and other drainage. Herbicides are easily diluted and the toxicity to aquatic animals depends on the size and location of the body of water. When compounded with a pesticide, the effects can be more damaging.
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