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Different methods of pest control and their environmental issues.

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Different methods of pest control and their environmental issues Different methods of pest control and their environmental issues A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. Pests can be insects, mice and other animals, unwanted plants (weeds), fungi, or microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. Though often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances used to control pests. Pesticides may be organic products, such as nicotine, or synthetic chemical products, such as paraquat. Pesticides include: Weedkillers Also known as herbicides Insecticides Insect pest killers Fungicides Kill fungi, including mould Acaricides Kill spiders Nematocides Kill round, thread or eel worms Rodentcides Kill mice and rats Algicides Kill algae Miticides Kill mites Molluscicides Kill snails and slugs Growth regulators Stimulate or retard plant growth Defoliants Remove plant leaves Desiccants Speed plant drying Attractants Attract insects e.g. pheromones (Biochemicals used to disrupt the mating behaviour of insects) Repellents Repel pests, including insects (such as mosquitoes) and birds Pesticides are meant to kill. They fall into five main chemical categories, all of which have different effects: organochlorines (e.g. DDT) which are persistent in air and water and remain for a long time in body fat; organophosphates (e.g. parathion) which damage the nervous system and were originally developed as nerve gases in the First World War; phenoxyacetic acids (e.g. 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D which combined made up Agent Orange); carbamates (e.g. ...read more.


Groundwater moves slowly, and once groundwater supplies are contaminated they may remain so for decades. Scientists are particularly concerned about heavily farmed areas in the Atlantic Provinces, where agriculture makes extensive use of pesticides. A number of pesticides such as aldicarb, carbofuran and phorate have been detected in local wells. Many pesticides are now suspected endocrine disruptors.Hormones get their name from the Greek word meaning 'to urge on'. They are chemical messengers produced and released into the bloodstream by organs known as the endocrine glands. These include the testicles, the ovaries, the pancreas, the adrenal glands, the thyroid, the parathyroid and the thymus. These play a crucial role in helping the foetus to grow in the womb, in the development of the baby and young child, and in the sexual development of both male and female. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with these hormones, most crucially at the stage when the baby is developing in the womb. But they can also mimic the hormone or block or stimulate its action in adults. So, for example, the pesticide endosulfan affects the body's oestrogen. Amitrole can affect levels of hormones in the thyroid gland and a number of organophosphate and carbonate pesticides have been linked to lower sperm counts. The direct effects of people using some of these chemicals are terrible. It is particularly bad for farm workers in the Third World who don't have the protective clothing or the ability to protect themselves. Chemical pesticides are effective and powerful. ...read more.


Although thought of by some as "natural," and therefore assumed to be harmless, safety clothing must be worn when spraying these, even though their toxicity is low to warm-blooded animals. Some botanical pesticides are toxic to fish and other cold-blooded creatures and should be treated with care. The botanical insecticides break down readily in soil and are not stored in plant or animal tissue. Often their effects are not as long lasting as those of synthetic pesticides. For example, Pyrethrum works against Pickleworms, aphids, leafhoppers, spider mites, harlequin bugs, cabbageworms, Mexican bean beetles, flea beetles, flies, and squash bugs. Advantages of using biopesticides include: Biopesticides are usually inherently less harmful than conventional pesticides. They generally affect only the target pest and closely related organisms, in contrast to broad spectrum, conventional pesticides that may affect organisms as different as birds, insects, and mammals. Biopesticides often are effective in very small quantities and often decompose quickly, thereby resulting in lower exposures and largely avoiding the pollution problems caused by conventional pesticides. When used as a component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, biopesticides can greatly decrease the use of conventional pesticides, while crop yields remain high. The world's five main pesticide producing and exporting states are France, Germany, the US, Britain and Switzerland although the fastest-growing markets are in Brazil, Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada. Many of the same countries also import pesticides: imports grew from a world total of $8.0 billion in 1991 to $11.6 billion in 1998. ...read more.

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