Pest Control

Early Pest control

  • smoke (camping)
  • Sumerians (5 K ago) sulfur
  • Chinese (2.5 K ago) mercury, __________
  • Greeks- oils, sprays, ash, lime
  • Mexico, India- ________
  • Chinese- (1.2 K ago) predatory ______ used for caterpillars
  • ducks and _________ for insects

chickens and guinea hens for ticks
pyrethrum (chrysanthemeum) spray- "safer" soap
_______ for slugs
parachuting in _____!

Synethic Pesticides
DDT- developed in 1939

  • ________, stable
  • highly solubile, used to kill mosquitos
  • fast + powerful- one application= ___% control
  • highly toxic- ________ spectrum (kills a wide diversity of insects)= Biocide
  • thought to be harmless to humans now seen as environmental nightmare
  • banned in 1970's when found to soften egg shells (Rachel ________, Silent Spring)

What IS that Home Depot smell?

  • ____% of ALL the pesticides used in the world are used in North America!!! Aghh
  • _________ dewellers put more chemicals on lawn and gardens than farmers/sq ft
  • chemical poisons kill insects/weeds also birds, _____, wild animals
  • makes humans sick- EPA ranks pesticides in food as the ______ most serious cancer risk
  • chemical industry wants us to believe it is safe to use pesticides with reckless abandon
  • 25 million farmers poisoned/yr
  • More than _______ ingredients contained in pesticides are KNOWN to cause cancer in humans.... (WHAT?)
  • long-term exposure can cause ___________ disorders in new generation

Classified by type of organisms it kills
Herbicide 59%
Insecticide 22%
Fungicides 11% (fruits and veg)
Rodenticide, etc...

Benefits: makes fruit _______, increases _______ supply

Classification of Pesticides on level of persistance/chemical structure

1. Chlorinated hydrocarbons- syntehetic organic insecticides- now _____________ in US

  • ex. DDT
  • inhibit nerve membranes ion transport and block nerve signal transmission
  • highly _______
  • long lasting: persistant 5-_____ yrs
  • DDT makes egg shells weak: eagles, falcons, pelicons
  • high biomagnification- _____ soluable, concentrated higher up
  • DDT in Eskimos breast milk- harmful even in small amounts to a developing baby.
    • Grasshopper effect- substances such as DDT evaporate from warm regions and ____________ in colder regions, accumulating in great concentrations in top predators and humans up north.
  • fat soluble so can biomagnify

2. Organophosphates- _____ pesticides today in US

  • ex. malathion, parathion (EPA review)
  • effects ________ system (outgrowth of nerve gas research in WWII)
  • affected 10-100x more poisonous to mammals than chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • esp. __________ affected.
  • single drop can be _______ for adult
  • lasts ______ time period: few hrs to few days
  • _____ biomagnification

6. Carbamates or urethanes effect the nervous system of pests.

  • They are water soluable and more than ten times more effective than DDT.
  • This is not good for anyone drinking ground water nearby.

3. Inorganic pesticides

  • ex. arsenic, copper, lead, mercury
  • highly ______ and __________
  • neurotoxins

4. Natural organic pesticides (botanicals) extracted from ________

  • ex. tobacco and chrysanthemeum, coniferous oils

5. Microbial agents and biological controls- living organisms used to kill insect pests

  • parasitic ________, ________ bugs, Bt bacteria- Bacllus thuringiensis is a soil dwelling bacteria that secretes toxin after injestion by a pest.


Pesticide Treadmill- having to use stronger and stronger pesticides as pests ____________ evolve to withstand the higher dose/strength!

Despite the use of pesticides, many pests have increased in numbers worldwide!


Safe Alternatives-

Intergrated Pest Management (IPM)- a flexible, _____________ based pest control strategy that carefully applies techniques at specific times, intervals and aimed at specific pests

  • crop ____________
  • burning crop residues
  • restoring wind __________, hedgerows and ground cover to allows birds to perch before dining on insects
  • biologicial ____________!!
  • sex lure traps (____________ beetles)
  • use pesticides only when really _________
  • polyculture
  • using Bt or naturally occuring plant poisons


Delaney Clause, 1958, any cancer causing agent cannot be added to processed food, drugs or cosmetics. BUT, law has been revamped to say that you _____ add carcinogens if the risk is slight.

The Dirty (Almost) Two Dozen: 22 foods to eat organic