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Pest Control Goes Herbal
The chemical DDT and other synthetically formulated pesticides that became prevalent in the 19th and 20th centuries to control pest infestation have no place in a world where the focus is now toward healthy living and an environment-friendly lifestyle.
In its place, you now have a new breed of chemical pesticides formulated from organic herbal sources that are less detrimental to animal and human health as well as to the ecosystem. They’re called ecological, organic, herbal or green pesticides that have become part of a new environment-centric discipline of agroecology, or the study of agriculture’s roles in world ecology.
The study of agroecology has put into focus the initiative to bring pesticides into a more environmentally kind formulation. Also called biological pesticides because their efficacies have biological roots, these green pesticides include such biocides as antibiotics, antibacterials, antivirals, antifungals, antiparasites, antiprotozoals and germicides used in combating pest and microbial infestation in crops.
However, not all green pesticides are harmless. While most green pesticides are essentially insecticides that are safer than synthetic pesticides, some have been known to be just as harmful.
About the only criterion for classifying green pesticide is that they are organically or naturally derived typically from botanical sources. But not all substances derived organically are safe such as rotenone, copper, pyrethrums and nicotine sulfate.
Rotenone has been identified as a dangerous natural pesticide and in 2005, it was banned for use among US organic farmers after it had been earlier banned under the California Organic Foods Act of 1990.
But this is more an exception than the rule. The new breed of green insecticides like the Phytoalexin elicitor glucohexatose along with a new class of organic pesticides called spinosad have shown selectivity in decimating harmful pests while leaving beneficial insects unharmed.
Some of these plant toxin based insecticides include organic sprays formulated with herbal extracts from wormwood, chive, stinging nettle, daffodil, garlic, rhubarb, onion, sambucus, tobacco and stale beer.
Mineral dusts have also been used including sulfer (acaricide, fungicide, bio-S sulfur mx) pilzvorsoge, spruzit, basalst dusting powder and carbolineum. With such environment friendly pesticides, there is no reason to go back to DDT.