Domestic Pesticides and Herbicides

If you are concerned about what pesticides have been used on your garden or hobby farm, ChemCentre can assist you.

ChemCentre has extensive experience in dealing with pesticides for commercial and domestic use and we have made it easy for you to have your domestic soil, water or plant samples analysed by an expert.

Collecting Samples:

Soil Samples

Soil analysis requires 200 -250 grams of soil. This can be collected in a clean glass container with a lid (Teflon lined lid preferred).

We recommend collecting the top surface soil and exclude any rocks, twigs etc. If you have a large area please collect from multiple areas and combine the soil to provide a representative sample of the area.

Water Samples

Water samples are to be collected in one litre brown glass bottles with Teflon lined lids. Ensure that the bottle is as full as possible.

Plant Samples

Around 100 grams of foliage is required for analysis. This can be collected in a glass jar or a plastic zip-lock bag.

Types of pesticides

Pesticides have been in use in domestic gardens and by commercial growers in Australia for decades. While some pesticides have been phased out to make room for new products, the chemical structure of previous pesticides means that some are strong enough to be present in a residue form today (this is known as persistency). Pesticides can be divided into various categories, including:

Organochlorine Pesticides

Developed in the 1940’s, Organochlorine Pesticides were phased out in the early 1980’s. These pesticides are very persistent in soil, and residues can still be detected. Organochlorine pesticides include DDT, DDD and DDE, which have been banned from use.

ChemCentre offers the Organochlorine Pesticide (OCP) Suite in Soil (O100SL-OC) to test for a number of pesticides listed below:       

  • a-BHC
  • Endosulfan sulfate
  • Aldrin
  • Endrin
  • a-Chlordane
  • Endrin aldehyde
  • alpha-Endosulfan
  • Endrin Ketone
  • b-BHC
  • g-Chlordane
  • beta-Endosulfan
  • Heptachlor
  • DDD
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • DDE
  • Lindane
  • DDT
  • Methoxychlor
  • d-BHC
  • Oxychlordane
  • Dieldrin
  • Heptachlor epoxide



Samples about 200-250 gms should be collected in a clean glass container. We recommend collecting the top surface soil and exclude any rocks, twigs etc. If you have a large area please collect from multiple areas and combine the soil to provide a representative sample of the area. 

Please see our Sample container guide. Sample containers can be obtained free of charge from ChemCentre. 

Submission times: Monday to Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm

Results and Turnaround Time

Please allow ten working days for results.


Cost for the Organochlorine Pesticide (OCP) Suite in Soil is $133.10 (including GST) per sample. Each submission also incurs a once off administration fee of $44.00 (including GST). (**ChemCentre's minimum charge of $220.00 (including GST) is waived for the OCP Suite in Soil test.)

Please note to avoid delays in sample analysis, prepayment must be paid at the time of sample submission.

For other analyses (for example, heavy metals such as mercury, lead etc) specific sampling requirements may be needed. Please discuss this with a ChemCentre scientist prior to collection of your sample. Please contact us today to discuss your requirements.

For more information about Organochlorine Pesticides please visit the WA Department of Health and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development websites.


Organophosphate Pesticides

Organophosphate pesticides replaced organochlorine pesticides (above) and were used mostly to control insect populations. They are less persistent than organochlorine pesticides and are more easily broken down in the environment and the metabolism of mammals and insects. 

Organonitrogen Herbicides

Organonitrogen herbicides, or triazines, were originally developed in the 1950’s and are still in use today.

Synthetic Pyrethroids

Synthetic pyrethroids are commonly used in household insect sprays. They are easily broken down by the human metabolism but have a fast reaction on the nervous systems of insects.

Glyphosate herbicides

Glyphosate is a weed killer commonly found in many popular brands such as Round Up®, Zero®, Weedmaster Duo®, Contact®, Strike®, No Grow® and Trounce®. It is non-specific, meaning that it will be toxic to any plant with enough foliage. Glyphosate is very difficult, but not impossible, to analyse in the laboratory because it binds strongly to soil particles.

Should you be worried about pesticides in your home environment?

  • Pesticides are used for food production, but there are strict regulations in place to ensure that if there is any residue, it is not in harmful levels.
  • Maximum residue levels decided by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medication of Australia are in place to ensure that there is no undue hazard through exposure to pesticides.
  • Those most at risk are people who work with pesticides on a day to day basis. If the correct safety precautions are observed, there should be no risk. Australia maintains a high standard of Occupational Health and Safety regulations, and this protects workers who may be exposed to pesticides. 
  • If ingested, follow the safety instructions on the pesticide label and seek immediate medical advice.
  • If you use pesticides on edible plants, make sure that you wash the produce before consumption.

    To proceed with testing please contact us today and read our Terms of Analysis,.


Contact us now

Postal address

PO Box 1250

t: (08) 9422 9800
f: (08) 9422 9801

ABN : 40 991 885 705

Street address

Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar
Resources and Chemistry Precinct
Corner Manning Road and Townsing Drive
Bentley WA 6102

Reception: Level 2, South Wing, Building 500.

Deliveries: Ground floor - use Conlon Street entrance