In modern parlance, PESTicides imply poison for PESTy insects. In fact, PESTIcides STRIKe as much human health as do insects. In any case, STROkes cause fear or STRAch in Ukrainian since they deform health. Plague points to PLAGIO, a Greek root for "deformation" or crooked as in PLAGIOCEPHALY, a term for deformed heads. Shakespeare did not diminish ancient stories that inspired him but in most instances those who copy and deteriorate or distort the work of others are called PLAGIARISTS.
PEST and PLAGue bring to mind the Bubonic Plague. "Bubo" or boubon in Greek, refers to the groin. In medical parlance, bubo relates to a host of infectious causes, particularly tuberculosis, which causes the swelling of lymphatic nodes (lymph nodes) or Bubos. Swollen lymphonodes are most visible in the groin, axilla and neck. The principal and historic plagues were those caused by the Tuberculosis and by the Yersinia Pestis bacilli. The most virulent form of "plague" was called the "Black Plague" because the Yersinia bacteria caused the blood to coagulate within the vessels causing massive gangrenes. Another name for the Black Plague was Pestis Fulminans or Pestis Major.
From PEST and PESTer we get to ePISTle, often used by churches to PESTer their flocks of faithful MORTals to "get ready" for a the after-life.
Pestle and Mortar, in a manner of speaking, imply a rod or projectile and a receptacle which in combination help to "strike" or blow (stroke), "pelt", "crush" or "grind" or pulverize or mash matter, in particular the matter of enemy soldiers (and more recently of civilians as well). A gentler sense is conveyed by the description of some flowers with a "pestle" or "pistle" or gynecim (in Latin pistillus for pestle). The above terms evolved toward PILL and PILLar, explored in another overview.
Pharmacists use a pestle and mortar to grind matter into powders used in PILLs; cooks to make paste like PESTo and masons to make MORTar to build MAUSOLEums to memorialize MORTAals as did the widow of MAUSOLEus, a work of such beauty that it is remembered as one of the seven wonders of the world.