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Issues associated with pest control.

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Issues associated with pest control. Everyone in the world depends on agriculture for food production. Despite improved technology, world food production has barely kept pace with population growth. Crop yields and efficiency of crop production must be increased. This can be achieved by reducing food loss by pesticides. Without some form of pest control, which is a form of controlling organisms, which reduce crop growth and crop yields, crop and animal losses would be severe, so throughout history farmers have used various means of controlling pests. Since the introduction of pesticides, bio pesticides, cultural control and integrated pest management (IPM), farmers are producing higher crop yields. (8) Pesticides are chemical substances used by humans to control, destroy, repel or attract pests in order to minimise their detrimental effects. Pests are any organisms (plant or animal) that reduce the yield of a crop. The term pesticide is an all-embracing word for herbicides (kill plants), insecticides (kill insects), fungicides (act on fungi), and so on. ...read more.


(4) Another major issue with the use of pesticides is the harm they cause on human health. Chemicals like DDT aldrin and dieldrin are toxic to broad spectrum of animals, including humans. (1) Injury to reproductive systems, birth defects and cancer, are effects that pesticides cause on humans. An estimated 3 million reported cases of pesticide-associated poisoning occur annually, resulting in 220,000 deaths. 99% of these occur in the developing world. (6) Another issue with pesticides is the economic problems, including direct and indirect costs. Using pesticides is very expensive and cost governments a large amount of money. (7) Although pesticides have certain advantages mainly in killing pests, they have also many disadvantages concerning their effect on wide range of animal species, soil structure, and water quality, and most important, on human health. Biological control of pests has traditionally meant regulation by natural enemies: predators, parasites and pathogens. As such it represents a form of population management preventing unchecked exponential growth of pests. (1) Bio pesticides fall into 3 major classes: Microbial pesticides consist of a micro organism (e.g. bacterium or virus) ...read more.


They aim to keep pest populations below the level of economic injury, or even prevent their development, while causing minimum harm and disruption to a crop and especially the beneficial natural enemies of the crop. (1) However, although it claims to be integrated, IPM still tends to take a linear approach, and it fails to deal with the complex interrelationship between influencing variables. The implementation of IPM may be too complicated. Also predicting pest and natural enemy population trends is difficult. Because of the complexity of crop systems and the site-specific nature of many pest problems, relying on predetermined static treatment thresholds is problematic. (12) It is unlikely that chemical pesticides will ever be the final answer to pest control, because quite apart from their effects on the ecosystem, resistant strains are constantly evolving. Pesticides do not offer a long-term, complete solution to pest problems; they kill pests but need to be reapplied periodically, and this cannot continue indefinitely. One possible solution is to put emphasis on biological control and procedures like cultural control and IPM, which make it impossible for the pest to complete its lifecycle and do not cause many moral, ethical and environmental issues. ...read more.

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