Pesticides control insects, weeds, fungi, nematodes, snails, and many other pests. Consequently, insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides are different types of pesticides. Initial types of pesticides were represented by minerals such as sulphur, mercury, arsenic, and lime. There were also organic types of pesticides such as nicotine, oxalic acid, pyrethrum, and garlic.
Classification of types of pesticides
There are several approaches to the classification of pesticide types. Pesticides can be classified from chemical standpoint and production method. Scientists also describe biological pesticide types. Pesticides are often classified according to the type of pest they control. There are also particular pesticide types.
Chemical types of pesticides
- Organophosphate pesticides attack the nervous system of pests and disrupt the enzyme that regulates acetylcholine action.
- Carbamate pesticides also disrupt the regulation of acetylcholine metabolism.
- Organochlorine pesticides were frequently used in the past, but many of them have been banned because of their negative effects on health and environment.
- Pyrethroid pesticides are synthetic kinds of the natural pyrethrin and produce toxic effect on the nervous system.
Biological types of pesticides
Biological types of pesticides come from natural sources such as plants, bacteria, animals, and some minerals.
- Microbial pesticides comprise bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoans that kill, suppress, or compete with pests.
- Biochemical pesticides such as pheromones and plant extracts are of natural origin and control pests by nontoxic mechanisms.
- Plant incorporated protectants are produced by plants from genetic materials previously introduced to the plant.
Types of pesticides according to target pests
- Insecticides control and kill insects by contact or ingestion. Systemic types of these pesticides are absorbed into the plants or animals.
- Acaricides kill mites and ticks by means of contact.
- Ovicides kill eggs of insects.
- Nematicides kill minute nematodes living in the soil and feeding on plant roots.
- Molluscicides control snails and slugs.
- Rodenticides control rats, mice, and other rodents. This type of pesticides also controls other animals, birds, and fish.
- Herbicides control weeds and other undesirable plants.
- Fungicides kill mildews, molds, blights, and rusts.
- Algicides control algae in lakes and swimming pools.
- Antimicrobials kill bacteria and viruses.
- Disinfectants kill pathogens.
- Fumigants produce gas or vapor to destroy pests in buildings and soils.
- Repellents scare pests from foods.
- Attractants attract pests luring them.
Particular pesticide types
- Insect growth regulators prevent insects from complete development into reproductive adults.
- Chitin synthesis inhibitors prevent immature insects from development and molting.
- Pheromones are produced in laboratories and imitate the natural ones to attract pests into traps or disturb mating.
- Plant growth regulators increase or decrease normal growth and reproduction.
- Defoliants cause the drop-off of leaves to enable harvest.
- Desiccants draw water from the plants.