Methods of pest control

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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

Fungicides Kill fungi, including mould

Nematocides Kill round, thread or eel worms

Growth regulators Stimulate or retard plant growth

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. aldicarb) which destroy an enzyme necessary to a pest's nervous system; and synthetic pyrethroids (cypermethrin, deltamethrin etc). In 1998, herbicides accounted for 49% of world pesticide use, followed by insecticides at 27%, fungicides at 20% and other... Continue Reading