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Studies show - today's pest control is less dangerous and more economical

In the last decade, there have been significant changes in many fields related to ecology, environmental and health awareness. In many fields the new developments are quickly assimilated and in other fields such as pest control, one takes a step back to go two more forward. If in the past the pesticides that flooded the market were those with the most toxic and powerful chemicals capable of destroying insects and pests, now exterminators choose to work with natural methods that prove to be just as effective and even save their customers much more money.

pest control Photo: ds 30-Dmitriy Pixabay
pest control Photo: ds 30-Dmitriy Pixabay

Natural pest control - why today?

In the recent past, chemical pesticides were very toxic and posed a real danger to human health and not just to pests. Today, on the other hand, the pesticides have a much lower level of toxicity, are supervised by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, are less dangerous to humans and animals and are intended for individual treatment of pests by damaging the various systems in their bodies - the respiratory system, the nervous system or the digestive system. If, for example, in the past you had to stay out of the house for 8 hours after the pest control, today it is enough to stay out of the house for only an hour to return to it safely. So if the danger is less, why is it so important to invest in the search for natural solutions? Well, the reason is natural as well, and is evolution.

The problem with chemical pesticides is that various insects and pests develop resistance to them over time, and a clear example of this can be seen in bed bugs. In the 40s, these pests were almost completely eliminated in developed countries, but after several decades they reappeared, arriving from other countries and developing resistance to the chemical pesticides used against them. Therefore, today the recommended pest control method against bed bugs is heat, when exterminators use steam to eliminate these pests and less pesticides.

Another reason is the growing awareness of the damage that pesticides can do to health when they are used to disinfect the food we eat. The chemical pesticides used to control fruit have been found in studies to be responsible for a number of negative consequences on human health, among other things, that they increase the risk of suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and cancerous tumors in the brain, breast, prostate and ovaries.

Biological control saves farmers billions of dollars a year

One of the ways to exterminate pests without using chemicals is biological control. This is actually a pest elimination process where nature is allowed to do its thing, meaning biological means are used - predatory or parasitic insects and even bacteria. In a study conducted at the University of Queensland The economic impact of this type of pesticide was examined in Asia and the Pacific Ocean region - where it began to be used widely - and it was discovered that it saves farmers billions of dollars a year.

(for the scientific article)

To use biological control you need to understand what the natural enemy of the pest is that needs to be controlled and find a way to integrate it into the controlled area so that it can thrive there. The team of researchers found that such control was able to effectively prevent pest threats to major agricultural crops in Asia, such as bananas and coconuts. "Our work shows that this technique saves farmers in Asia between $14.6 billion and $19.5 billion annually," the researchers said.

However, while biological control has indeed been found to be effective and economical, it is possible mainly in rural areas and less so in urban areas - certainly not inside houses. This is with the exception of biological control that is done with the help of bacteria that harm pests and not humans, such as the Eretz Israeli bacillus - Bti. It is actually a group of bacteria that produce toxins that effectively eliminate many different species of mosquitoes, and blackflies - or rather their larvae - while they have no effect on other organisms, including humans.

The chance of the mosquitoes developing resistance to Bti is zero, since the intestines of the mosquitoes have 4 different receptors for it, meaning that the mosquito must develop 4 different mutations in order to develop resistance to this pesticide. Today there are attempts to develop additional pest control methods with Bti that would be intended for adult mosquitoes, for example using sugar baits or even plants whose nectar contains Bti.

Organic pest control - today anyone can

When we talk about organic pest control, we actually mean pest control that does not harm the environment at all, and in which substances are used that are only harmful to the insect being exterminated. Since this is such a safe pest control method - even for humans - many pesticides are available for use by the general public, and you just need to know how to use them. These substances can be specifically intended for pest control, while others are simply substances that have also been found to be effective against pests, along with other benefits of using them in other ways.

One of the most common materials today for pest control in private gardens, for example, is diatomaceous earth, which is actually a soft natural mineral composed of silica, and it harms insects thanks to its unique structure; The grains of diatomaceous earth stick to the exoskeleton of arthropod insects and absorb hydrocarbons from the insects' cuticle, which is a layer of wax that protects their bodies. In this way the diatomaceous earth actually causes the fluids to leave the bodies of the insects, and they are eliminated by drying them out.

Another organic pesticide, which is also used by certified exterminators, is neem oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the Indian azadrake tree. This oil is used to control diseases in plants such as thyme and thyme, and it is used both to treat plants and to prevent these diseases. Its advantage is that it can be sprayed directly on the plants without fear of damage, and it does not have any residues, when it can be used up to two days before harvesting.

There are also pesticides that contain chemicals, but their method of application does not harm the environment and is not dangerous for humans, such as gel baits that contain poisoned corn starch and are intended for ants, cockroaches, etc. This organic solution also has a significant advantage over spraying pest control, because ants that feed on the bait actually take it into their nest to also feed the queen with it - which is very difficult to reach by spraying. When the queen eats the bait she also eventually dies, and without a queen the nest does not function. So it turns out that the ants disperse and look for another queen to serve her, and in fact the entire nest was destroyed without harming the environment.

A few words in conclusion

Today there are many effective pest control solutions that can not only protect the environment and human health, but also save a great deal of money for farmers and consumers. Will we see a world in the future where dangerous chemical pesticides will not be used at all? Most likely not, because there are still pests that can only be exterminated with them. Even if they develop resistance to the pesticides we use today, more solutions will likely be found to help eradicate them - some more natural and some less so. What is certain is that we will get to see many more natural solutions than chemical ones, and this is certainly an encouraging thought.

This article is a promoted content in cooperation with the safe pest control company for the service of the surfers of the knowledge website.
The author of the article: Eran Kivati, CEO and owner of Safe Pest Control: