The presence of parts per billion (ppb) levels of chlorpyrifos (O,O-Diethyl-O-(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridyl) phosphorothioate) and malathion (S-1,2-bis(ethoxycarbonyl) ethyl O,O-dimethyl phosphorodithioate), two common pesticides found in the surface waters of developing countries, have been visually detected using gold nanoparticles. Visual detection of the presence of pesticide is possible when the color change occurring by the adsorption of pesticides on gold nanoparticles is enhanced by sodium sulfate. The method presented here is simple and there is no need of sample preparation or preconcentration. The response occurs within seconds and the color change is very clear. The detection is possible if chlorpyrifos and malathion are present up to a concentration of 20 and 100 ppb, respectively. The method shows great potential for on-site pesticide monitoring. The method is also applicable as a qualitative technique for the performance evaluation of various household water filters, which claim pesticide removal.