Pesticides are chemical compounds or biological agents that control pests.
The word pesticides contains the element "-cide" that was borrowed from Latin and means "killer" or "killing". Pests include insects, mites, worms, fish, birds, animals, weeds, fungi, bacteria and viruses. Pests feed on crops and parasitize on livestock. Pesticides are classified by target pests, chemical structure, physical state and application methods. They include insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, and antimicrobials.
What are pesticides, their actions and applications?
Pesticides control pests physically, chemically or biologically interfering with pest metabolism and behavior. Methods of application for pesticides are spraying, disinfecting and luring.
Why people cannot do without pesticides?
Pesticides are used in farms, gardens, and households. Pests destroy about a half of food supplies in the world. Without pesticides the food losses could be even more significant. Pesticides increase work productivity, profits, and export incomes.
What are pesticides in agriculture?
Farmers and gardeners use chemicals to control pests and protect crops. Many pesticides are toxic and dangerous for health if used improperly. However, pesticide ban may aggravate hunger in the world, increase food prices and unemployment.
Natural replacement for chemical pesticides
Relatively harmless biological pesticides come from plants, bacteria, animals, and minerals. Microbial pesticides kill or compete with pests. Pesticides from plants such as neem oil, pyrethrins, and nicotine interrupt the pest life cycles. The mineral diatomaceous earth effectively kills the insects.