Pesticides are biological and chemical agents specifically designed to destroy pests of all kind. Since their invention in the nineteenth century, they have seen their implementation in both domestic and industrial environments. They are supposed to eliminate and hold of all kinds of animals that are giving us trouble, but they also present a great danger to our health, with their implementation often leading to fatal scenarios. The most common field of pesticide use is agriculture. When such an essential part of our food chain is invaded with poisonous chemicals, it brings up several questions we have to ask ourselves.
Why the need for pesticides
The main purpose of agriculture is the production of livestock and crops for mass consumption. With the ever growing population on our planet, the abundance of fresh and healthy eatable materials is absolutely essential for our sole survival. But humans are not the only ones living in this world, and other forms of life don’t have a plan of backing out and leaving all there is to us. Almost 40 percent of the entire American crop production is devastated by some form of pest, which leaves the country’s economy with a financial loss of almost 150 billion dollars every year.
Because of these enormous economic blowouts, pesticides are used as a weapon of mass destruction against insects, rodents, and birds. Various sorts of these chemicals exist in today’s market, but most agronomists like to stick with insecticides and herbicides, which are designed to exterminate undesirable bugs and plants. The devastation of crops is one of the world’s biggest agronomic problems, and the usage of pesticides has increased rapidly over the past couple of decades. The widespread application of these chemicals brought up questions whether they are a benefit or a hazard.
Some of the good sides of this kind of pest control are increased levels of production, more money for the farmers and the possibility of many diseases being stopped from spreading. Without pesticides being applied, damage to the crops would be significantly larger. They give us the opportunity to fight pests more efficiently and produce more food in the process. And with bigger production comes bigger profit. Another considerable factor is cutting down the cost of labor. With pesticides, you won’t have to deal with all sorts of weed on your fields. The chemicals do their job.
Besides the benefits of pesticide usage, there are also many problems diagnosed. Pesticides don’t like to stick to one place; they prefer moving to another field, to other herbal species. Their traces can be found in soil, air and water. They often spread to other living forms and usually do more harm than good in the process. They also have a bad tendency of disrupting the Earth’s ecosystem. Whenever a pesticide is being applied, it not only removes pests but other organisms as well. The balance of our natural environment is therefore dramatically changed. Besides disrupting the wildlife, pesticides are a known enemy of human’s health. Our exposure to them can only lead to poisoning.
Pesticides is a broad term when it comes to what they can be utilized for. Primarily they are used for killing fungi, feral animals, insects and other forms of pests.
They can be used in several different forms:
-solid form: in this form the positions are usually in crystal powder or granular form.
-aerosol form: the poisons that are in spray cans and huge canisters that can be sprayed in mist form
– liquids form: comes as bottled liquids
All of these forms have their benefits and specific uses for many situations, but the most important thing you should know about them is that they are highly poisonous and should be handled with extreme care.
Pesticides should be handled with the instructions that are written on the back of the product. If for some reason you are unsure how to handle them, gear up with adequate personal protective gear (PPE) and don’t let the poison chemical come in contact with your breathing, your skin, eyes or mouth.
Additionally, be aware that these chemicals can harm the earth, air, and water around it, so handle it with the utmost care for the environment as they can come in contact with unintended species and cause more harm.
There are 4 different schedules for the dangerous levels of the chemical.
These poisons are safe for handling and are classified as minimal health hazards if handled as per the instructions on the container.
– Schedule 5
Very weak toxin levels if used as per the instructions on the container.
– Schedule 6
Moderate amount of care is required when handling these poisons, which means personal protective equipment is a must.
– Schedule 7
Very high toxin levels. Must be handled with full PPE and may cause harm at the smallest contact with humans. Handle with care and store in safe places as per the instructions on the label.
All of these pesticides can cause problems in the food chain so make sure that you handle and dispose of the pesticides as per instructions on the container.
Additionally, keep in mind that these poison chemicals can spread to unwanted areas or animals and as such should be only used if you have secured the areas from those unwanted situations.
Pesticides have both positive and negative sides for use some of them are:
They are not difficult to apply
They are extremely efficient at doing their job
Quick and precise results
They are a cheap method when trying to control a huge amount of pests.
Pesticides can cause major health problems for humans, pets, and other wildlife if they are not used correctly
Secondary poisoning can introduce problems in the natural habitat of animals
Kills helpful bugs like ladybugs and praying mantises
Can have detrimental consequences on the water system due to contamination
The smartest way to defend against many pests is to limit the areas where they can feed and breed if pesticides must be used than secure care during handling advisable.
Pest have been bugging humans since we became self-aware, and since then we have devised many different ways to kill those pesky pests. Some are more lucrative than others, some are made in a laboratory, and some are nature made. But all in all most of them work for one situation or another. If you tried one of these ways and it has not worked don’t worry, there are many other ways you can try and we will list them all.
Use of animals
There are many animals that act as pest hunters. These little helpers usually come as pets and sometimes as trained helpers just for this specific issue. Many dogs, cats, and birds have been trained to help catch the pests that are trying to house themselves near our food supplies. If you use a cat combined with trap placement you are guaranteed to rid yourself of mice and rats.
Many insects rely on a certain food source or a certain water source to breed or feed. If you insert a specific chemical that will only target the specific insect, you have successfully used biological control to exterminate or lower the population of that insect. Depending on your pests the biological treatment will be different.
Some technological advancements will help us get rid of annoying pests a bit easier. Many traps that are extremely efficient at killing or trapping the pests fall in this category.
After the harvest of certain crops, the fields would be burned down so that all the insects and pests that are in the ground or at the roots of the plants would die off. This is usually used for crops that will have to be planted again next season, like sugar canes.
Hunting of pests
Many pests come in the form of small animals. They can be hunted in some countries using firearms. Make sure to check the laws of your country when it comes to killing these types of pests.
Pesticides are everything that kills insects, and they can be delivered to the plants through spraying from trucks, planes or by hand. These chemicals can be harmful to humans and other life around so make sure you know what you are doing and that you have taken all the steps to protect yourself and what you don’t want to destroy with these chemicals.
Natural control of rodents
There are many places where using chemicals is either forbidden or not encouraged. In these sites, you are usually left with natural ways to control the pests. Like increasing the population of the pest’s natural hunter. Many parks and special zones have these types of rules.
These chemicals are pesticides that focus on killing rodents like mice and rats. Rodenticides won’t harm insects but need to be placed with care so other animals won’t ingest them by accident and poison themselves.
Many repellents are made from chemicals and they keep the pests away to a certain degree. Many smells and sounds can be considered repellents.
Most people tend to leave the often grisly process of removing pests to the specially skilled professionals. The above mentioned statement implies that every extermination agency is completely reliable and worthy of your thrust. But that is not always the case. In most scenarios, these companies will not want to reveal all the secrets of their trade. It is therefore best to inform yourself on the subject prior to hiring any kind of industry services. These are some of the questions you better ask your exterminator before his engagement.
Pesticides stick around
The majority of pesticides used by exterminators come in liquid form. Sure, they will tell you that chemicals won’t be much of a problem for children and animals once they dry. That is not entirely true. Most of the chemicals’ negative aspects disappear when the substance dry out, but traces of them will remain on the areas that were sprayed.
There are no natural pesticides
Pest removal companies usually promote solutions that are supposed to be completely natural. These kinds of substances are typically being promoted as organic products made from sources such as flowers and plants. But no matter how natural they may be, materials of this kind have some form of toxicity injected in them in order to convey to basic principles of extermination. If a product is advertised as natural, it is probably poisonous to a certain extent.
Some bugs refuse to go away
Pest dealing agencies will usually guarantee you a complete extermination, but that is just a phrase in most cases. This is something you will actually never see in any contract you sign. Total eradication of all pests is very difficult to achieve and will possibly require more than a single visit. Regardless of the strength, pesticides have a tendency of wearing down at some point of time.
Ants are too smart
Ants present a common threat in the pest department. The method that is used frequently and said to be the best is laying down special traps with poisonous bait inside them. The ants should bite the bait and die almost instantly. That is what the theory says. The reality, on the other hand, teaches us that ant colonies change their habits on a daily basis. Bait put down today will not be appealing tomorrow. That’s how smart those bugs are.
Not everybody is certified
Extermination could sometimes be a pretty messy job, so very few people are waiting in line to get it. Labor deficiency forces pest control companies to lower their criteria when certifying employees. If somebody rings your bell and claims to be an expert in this matter, it does not necessarily mean he went to roach school.
Many will try to hustle you
The exterminator’s job is to calculate the exact perimeter of your household before doing anything. This procedure ensures that the right dosage of chemicals is being applied. If the owner is not around, many so called experts will try to play cheap and save money, spraying less than they should.