According to the National Pesticide Telecommunications Network, 90 percent of households in the United States use some form of pesticides [source: NPTC]. Pesticide is a broad term that encompasses a variety of chemical formulas that kill everything from tiny microorganisms up to rodents. They could be insecticides, fungicides, disinfectants or other varieties. Because these are poisons, the U.S. EPA requires pesticide manufacturers to include the toxicity level of the product on its packaging.
Although the EPA goes to great lengths to test new pesticides before they go on the market, they should still be used with care and kept out of reach of children. In 2006, the American Association of Poison Control Centers received nearly 46,000 calls regarding children under 5 years old who had been exposed to potentially toxic levels of pesticides [source: American Association of Poison Control Centers].
Since a majority of people's exposure to pesticides happens indoors, be sure to ventilate any enclosed spaces after applying a pesticide and do not use unauthorized ones. If hiring a professional pest control service, ask them to review with you the chemicals they will use in your home before they spray.