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Is Chemical Pest Control a good thing?

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Introduction

Is chemical pest control a good thing? Pest control refers to the controlling of pests and weed using pesticides, usually because it is believed to be detrimental to a person's health, the ecology or the economy. Pest control has been used in agriculture for many centuries, to maximise food production, and to protect crops from competing species, as well as herbivores. (7) Pest and weeds may be controlled with chemical pesticides. Pesticides are divided into insecticides, which are used to fight insect pests, fungicides, which kill species of fungi that are parasitic to plants, and herbicides, which are used to kill competitors such as weeds. (1) Other than having different types of pesticides, there are also a variety of chemical substances used as pesticides and they work in different ways. Contact pesticides are a type of chemical that is sprayed directly onto the crop, and are usually absorbed by insects through tiny gas-exchange pores, along its body. In terms of price, contact pesticides are also good value for money, but they also need to be reapplied quite often. (1) Systemic pesticides are a type of pesticide which is sprayed directly onto the crop. ...read more.

Middle

By using these methods of preventing pests, it makes pest control very efficient as farmers would know how much to apply and how specific it would be. (9) Most certainly, pesticides have been very beneficial to humans, by having given us protection from pests such as cockroaches, spiders, fleas etc. therefore, the use chemical pesticides has definitely made life easier for people as without pesticides, life would be most difficult. (9) As well as providing protection to crops, pesticides also provide protection to the environment such as the use of herbicides, which are used to kill pests like noxious weeds, feral animals etc. Using herbicides to control crop weeds reduces the need for cultivation, thus reducing land degradation. This means that the farmer has increased efficiency as they do not have to put too much money in to farming and it also saves them time and effort as a result. (9) Despite their many advantages, there are some potential hazards or risks when using pesticides. These risks may be associated with all chemicals whether they be industrial chemicals, pesticides, household products or even natural chemicals found in the environment. ...read more.

Conclusion

Not all residues are undesirable although good agricultural practice must be observed to prevent unnecessary and excessive levels of residues. (9) An alternative of chemical pest control is biological control, which does not use chemicals. Instead, it uses other organisms or parasites of the pest, in order to reduce the pest population. It avoids the use of pesticides, with their environmentally harmful effects. It is usually species-specific, so that other similar organisms which are not pests are unharmed. Various groups of organisms are used as biological control agents, including insects, viruses, bacteria and fungi. (2) The first biological control agent was used in 1889 to control the cottony cushion scale insect, a pest of citrus trees. (2) I have now come to a conclusion, where I believe that chemical pest control should be used in farming as it help to maximise food production and provides crops with high yields. However, this can only happen by ensuring there are adequate safeguards over the manufacture, sale and use of these pesticides and by ensuring that they are used correctly, safely and accurately by well trained and competent applicators. ...read more.

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