The benefits of pesticides include higher quality food production, increased profits for farmers and the prevention of diseases. Although pests consume or harm a large portion of agricultural crops, without the use of pesticides, it is likely that they would consume a higher percentage.
Due to the use of pesticides, it is possible to combat pests and produce higher quality and greater quantities of food. By producing more crops, farmers are also able to increase profits by having more product to sell. Pesticides also increase farm profits by helping the farmer save money on labor costs. Using pesticides reduces the amount of time required to manually remove weeds and pests from fields.
In addition to saving crops and livestock, pesticides have also had direct benefits to human health. It is estimated that since 1945, the use of pesticides has prevented the deaths of around seven million people by killing pests that carry or transmit diseases. Malaria, which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes, is one of the most commonly known and deadly diseases that has decreased in prevalence due to the use of pesticides. Other diseases that were minimized due to the use of pesticides include the bubonic plague, which is carried by rat fleas, and typhus, which is transmitted by both fleas and body lice.