The use of today's stronger pesticides, due to the need for greater food production for a growing world population, may be poisoning us all. Pesticides are vital tools in the production of food and fiber crops. However, as with any tool, their misuse can pose a threat to human health and environmental quality.
There are seemingly endless varieties of pesticide products sold in today's marketplace. Dr. Andrew Martin points out that "manufacturers often produce various forms of a pesticide to meet different pest control needs.... an insecticide may be applied as a liquid to control adult Japanese beetles on soybeans and as a solid material for controlling the larva (grub) stage of that insect in corn" (Martin and Wolt 35).
A pesticide consists of two parts: active and inert ingredients. Active ingredients are chemicals that actually control the pest. Inert ingredients are solvents and carriers that help deliver the active ingredient to the pest.
Inert ingredients can be liquids into which the active ingredient dissolves, chemicals that can keep the product from settling, and even compounds such as glue that help secure the pesticide to its target after application.
There are many different and unique methods to apply pesticides available for the agricultural market and home gardener. When crops are young, farmers apply pesticides with dry spreaders and large specialized spray boom equipped trucks. As the crops mature, aerial application can be the only means of getting a pesticide onto a crop that is infested with a destructive pest. For our gardens at home, we also have a variety of products and methods of application available to us. Ready to use aerosol spray cans and mixtures for pump up applicators seem to be the norm for many families.
Health issues are the subject of many debates in this and other...