Pest control

Last updated

An agricultural aircraft applies low-insecticide bait against western corn rootworm. Crop Duster.jpg
An agricultural aircraft applies low-insecticide bait against western corn rootworm.

Pest control is the regulation or management of a species defined as a pest; such as any animal, plant or fungus that impacts adversely on human activities or environment. [1] The human response depends on the importance of the damage done and will range from tolerance, through deterrence and management, to attempts to completely eradicate the pest. Pest control measures may be performed as part of an integrated pest management strategy.


In agriculture, pests are kept at bay by mechanical, cultural, chemical and biological means. [2] Ploughing and cultivation of the soil before sowing mitigate the pest burden, and crop rotation helps to reduce the build-up of a certain pest species. Concern about environment means limiting the use of pesticides in favour of other methods. This can be achieved by monitoring the crop, only applying pesticides when necessary, and by growing varieties and crops which are resistant to pests. Where possible, biological means are used, encouraging the natural enemies of the pests and introducing suitable predators or parasites. [3]

In homes and urban environments, the pests are the rodents, birds, insects and other organisms that share the habitat with humans, and that feed on and/or spoil possessions. Control of these pests is attempted through exclusion or quarantine, repulsion, physical removal or chemical means. [4] Alternatively, various methods of biological control can be used including sterilisation programmes.


Bronze cat, Ancient Egypt. (664-525 BC) Bronze Saite era art of an Egyptian cat in the Gulbenkian Museum.jpg
Bronze cat, Ancient Egypt. (664–525 BC)

Pest control is at least as old as agriculture, as there has always been a need to keep crops free from pests. As long ago as 3000 BC in Egypt, cats were used to control pests of grain stores such as rodents. [5] [6] Ferrets were domesticated by 1500 BC in Europe for use as mousers. Mongooses were introduced into homes to control rodents and snakes, probably by the ancient Egyptians. [7]

The conventional approach was probably the first to be employed, since it is comparatively easy to destroy weeds by burning them or ploughing them under, and to kill larger competing herbivores. Techniques such as crop rotation, companion planting (also known as intercropping or mixed cropping), and the selective breeding of pest-resistant cultivars have a long history. [8]

Red weaver ants, here feeding on a snail, have been used to control pests in China, Southeast Asia, and Africa for many centuries. Red weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) feeding on a dead African giant snail (Achatina fulica) - journal.pone.0060797.g001-F.png
Red weaver ants, here feeding on a snail, have been used to control pests in China, Southeast Asia, and Africa for many centuries.

Chemical pesticides were first used around 2500 BC, when the Sumerians used sulphur compounds as insecticides. [9] Modern pest control was stimulated by the spread across the United States of the Colorado potato beetle. After much discussion, arsenical compounds were used to control the beetle and the predicted poisoning of the human population did not occur. This led the way to a widespread acceptance of insecticides across the continent. [10] With the industrialisation and mechanization of agriculture in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the introduction of the insecticides pyrethrum and derris, chemical pest control became widespread. In the 20th century, the discovery of several synthetic insecticides, such as DDT, and herbicides boosted this development. [10]

The harmful side effect of pesticides on humans has now resulted in the development of newer approaches, such as the use of biological control to eliminate the ability of pests to reproduce or to modify their behavior to make them less troublesome. Biological control is first recorded around 300 AD in China, when colonies of weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina , were intentionally placed in citrus plantations to control beetles and caterpillars. [9] Also around 4000 BC in China, ducks were used in paddy fields to consume pests, as illustrated in ancient cave art. In 1762, an Indian mynah was brought to Mauritius to control locusts, and about the same time, citrus trees in Burma were connected by bamboos to allow ants to pass between them and help control caterpillars. In the 1880s, ladybirds were used in citrus plantations in California to control scale insects, and other biological control experiments followed. The introduction of DDT, a cheap and effective compound, put an effective stop to biological control experiments. By the 1960s, problems of resistance to chemicals and damage to the environment began to emerge, and biological control had a renaissance. Chemical pest control is still the predominant type of pest control today, although a renewed interest in traditional and biological pest control developed towards the end of the 20th century and continues to this day. [11]

In agriculture

Control methods

Biological pest control

Biological pest control: parasitoid wasp (Cotesia congregata) adult with pupal cocoons on its host, a tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta (green background) Cotesia9061.8.15.07.c.jpg
Biological pest control: parasitoid wasp ( Cotesia congregata) adult with pupal cocoons on its host, a tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta (green background)

Biological pest control is a method of controlling pests such as insects and mites by using other organisms. [12] It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, parasitody or other natural mechanisms, but typically also involves an active human management role. Classical biological control involves the introduction of natural enemies of the pest that are bred in the laboratory and released into the environment. An alternative approach is to augment the natural enemies that occur in a particular area by releasing more, either in small, repeated batches, or in a single large-scale release. Ideally, the released organism will breed and survive, and provide long-term control. [13] Biological control can be an important component of an integrated pest management programme.

For example: mosquitoes are often controlled by putting Bt Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. israelensis, a bacterium that infects and kills mosquito larvae, in local water sources. [14]

Cultural control

Cultivation by ploughing exposes insect pests to predators such as black-headed gulls. Following the plough 3 - - 1019422.jpg
Cultivation by ploughing exposes insect pests to predators such as black-headed gulls.
Spruce budworm (adult and pupa shown), a serious pest of forests, can be monitored using pheromone traps. Choristoneura fumiferana.jpg
Spruce budworm (adult and pupa shown), a serious pest of forests, can be monitored using pheromone traps.

Mechanical pest control is the use of hands-on techniques as well as simple equipment and devices, that provides a protective barrier between plants and insects. This is referred to as tillage and is one of the oldest methods of weed control as well as being useful for pest control; wireworms, the larvae of the common click beetle, are very destructive pests of newly ploughed grassland, and repeated cultivation exposes them to the birds and other predators that feed on them. [15]

Crop rotation can help to control pests by depriving them of their host plants. It is a major tactic in the control of corn rootworm, and has reduced early season incidence of Colorado potato beetle by as much as 95%. [16]

Trap cropping

A trap crop is a crop of a plant that attracts pests, diverting them from nearby crops. [17] Pests aggregated on the trap crop can be more easily controlled using pesticides or other methods. [18] However, trap-cropping, on its own, has often failed to cost effectively reduce pest densities on large commercial scales, without the use of pesticides, possibly due to the pests' ability to disperse back into the main field. [18]


Spraying pine logs with insecticide against Ips sexdentatus, a pine engraver beetle Insecticide pine logs ips sexdentatus.jpg
Spraying pine logs with insecticide against Ips sexdentatus , a pine engraver beetle

Pesticides are substances applied to crops to control pests, they include herbicides to kill weeds, fungicides to kill fungi and insecticides to kill insects. They can be applied as sprays by hand, tractors, or aircraft or as seed dressings. To be effective, the correct substance must be applied at the correct time and the method of application is important to ensure adequate coverage and retention on the crop. The killing of natural enemies of the target pest should be minimized. This is particularly important in countries where there are natural reservoirs of pests and their enemies in the countryside surrounding plantation crops, and these co-exist in a delicate balance. Often in less-developed countries, the crops are well adapted to the local situation and no pesticides are needed. Where progressive farmers are using fertilizers to grow improved crop varieties, these are often more susceptible to pest damage, but the indiscriminate application of pesticides may be detrimental in the longer term. [19] [ unreliable source? ][ failed verification ] The efficacy of chemical pesticides tends to diminish over time. This is because any organism that manages to survive the initial application will pass on its genes to its offspring and a resistant strain will be developed. In this way, some of the most serious pests have developed resistance and are no longer killed by pesticides that used to kill their ancestors. This necessitates higher concentrations of chemical, more frequent applications and a movement to more expensive formulations. [20]

Pesticides are intended to kill pests, but many have detrimental effects on non-target species; of particular concern is the damage done to honey-bees, solitary bees and other pollinating insects and in this regard, the time of day when the spray is applied can be important. [21] The widely used neonicotinoids have been banned on flowering crops in some countries because of their effects on bees. [21] Some pesticides may cause cancer and other health problems in humans, as well as being harmful to wildlife. [22] There can be acute effects immediately after exposure or chronic effects after continuous low-level, or occasional exposure. [23] Maximum residue limits for pesticides in foodstuffs and animal feed are set by many nations. [24]


Using crops with inheritable resistance to pests is referred to as host-plant resistance and reduces the need for pesticide use. These crops can harm or even kill pests, repel feeding, prevent colonization, or tolerate the presence of a pest without significantly impacting yield. [25] [26] [27] Resistance can also occur through genetic engineering to have traits with resistance to insects, such as with Bt corn, or papaya resistance to ringspot virus. [28] When farmers are purchasing seed, variety information often includes resistance to selected pests in addition to other traits. [29]


A contemporary wood engraving of varmint hunters shooting passenger pigeons, a varmint species that was known to damage crops. Overhunting resulted in complete extinction of the species. Passenger pigeon shoot.jpg
A contemporary wood engraving of varmint hunters shooting passenger pigeons, a varmint species that was known to damage crops. Overhunting resulted in complete extinction of the species.

Pest control can also be achieved via culling the pest animals — generally small- to medium-sized wild or feral mammals or birds that inhabit the ecological niches near farms, pastures or other human settlements — by employing human hunters or trappers to physically track down, kill and remove them from the area. The culled animals, known as vermin, may be targeted because they are deemed harmful to agricultural crops, livestock or facilities; serve as hosts or vectors that transmit pathogens across species or to humans; or for population control as a mean of protecting other vulnerable species and ecosystems. [30]

Pest control via hunting, like all forms of harvest, has imposed an artificial selective pressure on the organisms being targeted. While varmint hunting is potentially selecting for desired behavioural and demographic changes (e.g. animals avoiding human populated areas, crops and livestock), it can also result in unpredicted outcomes such as the targeted animal adapting for faster reproductive cycles. [31]


Forest pests present a significant problem because it is not easy to access the canopy and monitor pest populations. In addition, forestry pests such as bark beetles, kept under control by natural enemies in their native range, may be transported large distances in cut timber to places where they have no natural predators, enabling them to cause extensive economic damage. [32] Pheromone traps have been used to monitor pest populations in the canopy. These release volatile chemicals that attract males. Pheromone traps can detect the arrival of pests or alert foresters to outbreaks. For example, the spruce budworm, a destructive pest of spruce and balsam fir, has been monitored using pheromone traps in Canadian forests for several decades. [33] In some regions, such as New Brunswick, areas of forest are sprayed with pesticide to control the budworm population and prevent the damage caused during outbreaks. [34]

In homes and cities

Many unwelcome animals visit or make their home in residential buildings, industrial sites and urban areas. Some contaminate foodstuffs, damage structural timbers, chew through fabrics or infest stored dry goods. Some inflict great economic loss, others carry diseases or cause fire hazards, and some are just a nuisance. Control of these pests has been attempted by improving sanitation and garbage control, modifying the habitat, and using repellents, growth regulators, traps, baits and pesticides. [35]

General methods

Physical pest control

Dog control van, Rekong Peo, Himachal Pradesh, India Dog van Rekong Peo.jpg
Dog control van, Rekong Peo, Himachal Pradesh, India

Physical pest control involves trapping or killing pests such as insects and rodents. Historically, local people or paid rat-catchers caught and killed rodents using dogs and traps. [36] On a domestic scale, sticky flypapers are used to trap flies. In larger buildings, insects may be trapped using such means as pheromones, synthetic volatile chemicals or ultraviolet light to attract the insects; some have a sticky base or an electrically charged grid to kill them. Glueboards are sometimes used for monitoring cockroaches and to catch rodents. Rodents can be killed by suitably baited spring traps and can be caught in cage traps for relocation. Talcum powder or "tracking powder" can be used to establish routes used by rodents inside buildings and acoustic devices can be used for detecting beetles in structural timbers. [35]

Historically, firearms have been one of the primary methods used for pest control. "Garden Guns" are smooth bore shotguns specifically made to fire .22 caliber snake shot or 9mm Flobert, and are commonly used by gardeners and farmers for snakes, rodents, birds, and other pest. Garden Guns are short-range weapons that can do little harm past 15 to 20 yards, and they're relatively quiet when fired with snake shot, compared to standard ammunition. These guns are especially effective inside of barns and sheds, as the snake shot will not shoot holes in the roof or walls, or more importantly, injure livestock with a ricochet. They are also used for pest control at airports, warehouses, stockyards, etc. [37]

The most common shot cartridge is .22 Long Rifle loaded with #12 shot. At a distance of about 10 ft (3.0 m), which is about the maximum effective range, the pattern is about 8 in (20 cm) in diameter from a standard rifle. Special smoothbore shotguns, such as the Marlin Model 25MG can produce effective patterns out to 15 or 20 yards using .22 WMR shotshells, which hold 1/8 oz. of #12 shot contained in a plastic capsule.

Poisoned bait

Rodent bait station, Chennai, India Rodent Bait Station, Chennai, India.jpg
Rodent bait station, Chennai, India

Poisoned bait is a common method for controlling rats, mice, birds, slugs, snails, ants, cockroaches, and other pests. The basic granules, or other formulation, contains a food attractant for the target species and a suitable poison. For ants, a slow-acting toxin is needed so that the workers have time to carry the substance back to the colony, and for flies, a quick-acting substance to prevent further egg-laying and nuisance. [38] Baits for slugs and snails often contain the molluscide metaldehyde, dangerous to children and household pets. [39]

An article in Scientific American in 1885 described effective elimination of a cockroach infestation using fresh cucumber peels. [40]

Bait being placed in a rodent bait box. Rodent bait box with bait.jpg
Bait being placed in a rodent bait box.

Warfarin has traditionally been used to kill rodents, but many populations have developed resistance to this anticoagulant, and difenacoum may be substituted. These are cumulative poisons, requiring bait stations to be topped up regularly. [38] Poisoned meat has been used for centuries to kill animals such as wolves [41] and birds of prey. [42] Poisoned carcasses however kill a wide range of carrion feeders, not only the targeted species. [41] Raptors in Israel were nearly wiped out following a period of intense poisoning of rats and other crop pests. [43]


Tent fumigation of a house in America Tent fumigation.jpg
Tent fumigation of a house in America

Fumigation is the treatment of a structure to kill pests such as wood-boring beetles by sealing it or surrounding it with an airtight cover such as a tent, and fogging with liquid insecticide for an extended period, typically of 24–72 hours. This is costly and inconvenient as the structure cannot be used during the treatment, but it targets all life stages of pests. [44]

An alternative, space treatment, is fogging or misting to disperse a liquid insecticide in the atmosphere within a building without evacuation or airtight sealing, allowing most work within the building to continue, at the cost of reduced penetration. Contact insecticides are generally used to minimize long-lasting residual effects. [44]


Populations of pest insects can sometimes be dramatically reduced by the release of sterile individuals. This involves the mass rearing of a pest, sterilising it by means of X-rays or some other means, and releasing it into a wild population. It is particularly useful where a female only mates once and where the insect does not disperse widely. [45] This technique has been successfully used against the New World screw-worm fly, some species of tsetse fly, tropical fruit flies, the pink bollworm and the codling moth, among others. [46]

Laboratory studies conducted with U-5897 (3-chloro-1,2-propanediol) were attempted in the early 1970s for rat control, although these proved unsuccessful. [47] In 2013, New York City tested sterilization traps, [48] demonstrating a 43% reduction in rat populations. [48] The product ContraPest was approved for the sterilization of rodents by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in August 2016. [49]


Boron, a known pesticide can be impregnated into the paper fibers of cellulose insulation at certain levels to achieve a mechanical kill factor for self-grooming insects such as ants, cockroaches, termites, and more. The addition of insulation into the attic and walls of a structure can provide control of common pests in addition to known insulation benefits such a robust thermal envelope and acoustic noise-canceling properties. The EPA regulates this type of general-use pesticide within the United States allowing it to only be sold and installed by licensed pest management professionals as part of an integrated pest management program. [50] Simply adding Boron or an EPA-registered pesticide to an insulation does not qualify it as a pesticide. The dosage and method must be carefully controlled and monitored.

Methods for specific pests

Rodent control

Urban rodent control

Rodent control is vital in cities. [51] :133 New York City and cities across the state dramatically reduced their rodent populations in the early 1970s. [51] :133 Rio de Janeiro claims a reduction of 80% over only 2 years shortly thereafter. [51] :133 To better target efforts, London began scientifically surveying populations in 1972 and this was so useful that all Local Authorities in England and Wales soon followed. [51] :133

Natural rodent control
Brown rat infestation Rat pest control underground.png
Brown rat infestation

Several wildlife rehabilitation organizations encourage natural form of rodent control through exclusion and predator support and preventing secondary poisoning altogether. [52] The United States Environmental Protection Agency notes in its Proposed Risk Mitigation Decision for Nine Rodenticides that "without habitat modification to make areas less attractive to commensal rodents, even eradication will not prevent new populations from recolonizing the habitat." [53] The United States Environmental Protection Agency has prescribed guidelines for natural rodent control [54] and for safe trapping in residential areas with subsequent release to the wild. [55] People sometimes attempt to limit rodent damage using repellents. Balsam fir oil from the tree Abies balsamea is an EPA approved non-toxic rodent repellent. [56] Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha root emits chemical compounds that repel animals including rats. [57] [58]

Pantry pests

The red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, attacks stored grain products worldwide. Tribolium castaneum.jpg
The red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum , attacks stored grain products worldwide.

Insect pests including the Mediterranean flour moth, the Indian mealmoth, the cigarette beetle, the drugstore beetle, the confused flour beetle, the red flour beetle, the merchant grain beetle, the sawtoothed grain beetle, the wheat weevil, the maize weevil and the rice weevil infest stored dry foods such as flour, cereals and pasta. [59] [60]

In the home, foodstuffs found to be infested are usually discarded, and storing such products in sealed containers should prevent the problem from reoccurring. The eggs of these insects are likely to go unnoticed, with the larvae being the destructive life stage, and the adult the most noticeable stage. [60] Since pesticides are not safe to use near food, alternative treatments such as freezing for four days at 0 °F (−18 °C) or baking for half an hour at 130 °F (54 °C) should kill any insects present. [61]

Clothes moths

Larva, pupa and adult clothes moth Tineola bisselliella with characteristic damage to fabric MiteTineola 1233096.jpg
Larva, pupa and adult clothes moth Tineola bisselliella with characteristic damage to fabric

The larvae of clothes moths (mainly Tineola bisselliella and Tinea pellionella ) feed on fabrics and carpets, particularly those that are stored or soiled. The adult females lay batches of eggs on natural fibres, including wool, silk, and fur, as well as cotton and linen in blends. The developing larvae spin protective webbing and chew into the fabric, creating holes and specks of excrement. Damage is often concentrated in concealed locations, under collars and near seams of clothing, in folds and crevices in upholstery and round the edges of carpets as well as under furniture. [62] Methods of control include using airtight containers for storage, periodic laundering of garments, trapping, freezing, heating and the use of chemicals; mothballs contain volatile insect repellents such as 1,4-Dichlorobenzene which deter adults, but to kill the larvae, permethrin, pyrethroids or other insecticides may need to be used. [62]

Carpet beetles

Carpet beetles are members of the family Dermestidae, and while the adult beetles feed on nectar and pollen, the larvae are destructive pests in homes, warehouses, and museums. They feed on animal products including wool, silk, leather, fur, the bristles of hair brushes, pet hair, feathers, and museum specimens. They tend to infest hidden locations and may feed on larger areas of fabrics than do clothes moths, leaving behind specks of excrement and brown, hollow, bristly-looking cast skins. [63] Management of infestations is difficult and is based on exclusion and sanitation where possible, resorting to pesticides when necessary. The beetles can fly in from outdoors and the larvae can survive on lint fragments, dust, and inside the bags of vacuum cleaners. In warehouses and museums, sticky traps baited with suitable pheromones can be used to identify problems, and heating, freezing, spraying the surface with insecticide, and fumigation will kill the insects when suitably applied. Susceptible items can be protected from attack by keeping them in clean airtight containers. [63]


Books are sometimes attacked by cockroaches, silverfish, [64] book mites, booklice, [65] and various beetles which feed on the covers, paper, bindings and glue. They leave behind physical damage in the form of tiny holes as well as staining from their faeces. [64] Book pests include the larder beetle, and the larvae of the black carpet beetle and the drugstore beetle which attack leather-bound books, while the common clothes moth and the brown house moth attack cloth bindings. These attacks are largely a problem with historic books, because modern bookbinding materials are less susceptible to this type of damage. [66]

Evidence of attack may be found in the form of tiny piles of book-dust and specks of frass. Damage may be concentrated in the spine, the projecting edges of pages and the cover. Prevention of attack relies on keeping books in cool, clean, dry positions with low humidity, and occasional inspections should be made. Treatment can be by freezing for lengthy periods, but some insect eggs are very resistant and can survive for long periods at low temperatures. [64]


House timber split open to reveal larvae of the house longhorn beetle, Hylotrupes bajulus, in their burrows, which are partially filled with frass 130312 Tesarik krovovy Hylotrupes bajulus (7).JPG
House timber split open to reveal larvae of the house longhorn beetle, Hylotrupes bajulus, in their burrows, which are partially filled with frass

Various beetles in the Bostrichoidea superfamily attack the dry, seasoned wood used as structural timber in houses and to make furniture. In most cases, it is the larvae that do the damage; these are invisible from the outside of the timber but are chewing away at the wood in the interior of the item. Examples of these are the powderpost beetles, which attack the sapwood of hardwoods, and the furniture beetles, which attacks softwoods, including plywood. The damage has already been done by the time the adult beetles bore their way out, leaving neat round holes behind them. The first that a householder knows about the beetle damage is often when a chair leg breaks off or a piece of structural timber caves in. Prevention is through chemical treatment of the timber prior to its use in construction or in furniture manufacture. [67]


Termites with colonies in close proximity to houses can extend their galleries underground and make mud tubes to enter homes. The insects keep out of sight and chew their way through structural and decorative timbers, leaving the surface layers intact, as well as through cardboard, plastic and insulation materials. Their presence may become apparent when winged insects appear and swarm in the home in spring. Regular inspection of structures by a trained professional may help detect termite activity before the damage becomes substantial.; [68] Inspection and monitoring of termites is important because termite alates (winged reproductives) may not always swarm inside a structure. Control and extermination is a professional job involving trying to exclude the insects from the building and trying to kill those already present. Soil-applied liquid termiticides provide a chemical barrier that prevents termites from entering buildings, and lethal baits can be used; these are eaten by foraging insects, and carried back to the nest and shared with other members of the colony, which goes into slow decline. [69]


Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) biting a human Aedes aegypti biting human.jpg
Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) biting a human

Mosquitoes are midge-like flies in the family Culicidae. Females of most species feed on blood and some act as vectors for malaria and other diseases. Historically they have been controlled by use of DDT and other chemical means, but since the adverse environmental effects of these insecticides have been realized, other means of control have been attempted. The insects rely on water in which to breed and the first line of control is to reduce possible breeding locations by draining marshes and reducing accumulations of standing water. Other approaches include biological control of larvae by the use of fish or other predators, genetic control, the introduction of pathogens, growth-regulating hormones, the release of pheromones and mosquito trapping. [70]

On airfields

Jet engine fan blades damaged by bird strike JT8D Engine after Bird Strike.jpg
Jet engine fan blades damaged by bird strike

Birds are a significant hazard to aircraft, but it is difficult to keep them away from airfields. Several methods have been explored. Stunning birds by feeding them a bait containing stupefying substances has been tried, [71] and it may be possible to reduce their numbers on airfields by reducing the number of earthworms and other invertebrates by soil treatment. [71] Leaving the grass long on airfields rather than mowing it is also a deterrent to birds. [72] Sonic nets are being trialled; these produce sounds that birds find distracting and seem effective at keeping birds away from affected areas. [73]

Guidelines and legislation

Guidelines and legislation regarding the usage permitted methods of application and the storage conditions of pesticides and chemicals vary from country to country, often being legislated by each state of territory.


Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Environment Protection Act 1997 ACT [74]

New South Wales

[75] [76]

South Australia

Pesticides Regulations 2003 SA Pursuant to Controlled Substances Act 1984 SA [77]


Health (Pest Control) Regulations 2002 Vic pursuant to the Health Act 1958 Vic [78]

Western Australia

Health (Pesticide) Regulations 2011 WA pursuant to Health Act 1911 WA [79]


The Insecticides Act 1968 [80]


Pesticide Act 1974 [81]


Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act [82]

United Kingdom

Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 [83]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pesticide</span> Substance used to destroy pests

Pesticides are substances that are used to control pests. They include herbicides, insecticides, nematicides, fungicides, and many others. The most common of these are herbicides, which account for approximately 50% of all pesticide use globally. Most pesticides are used as plant protection products, which in general protect plants from weeds, fungi, or insects. In general, a pesticide is a chemical or biological agent that deters, incapacitates, kills, or otherwise discourages pests. Target pests can include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, molluscs, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes (roundworms), and microbes that destroy property, cause nuisance, or spread disease, or are disease vectors. Along with these benefits, pesticides also have drawbacks, such as potential toxicity to humans and other species.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Insecticide</span> Pesticide used against insects

Insecticides are pesticides used to kill insects. They include ovicides and larvicides used against insect eggs and larvae, respectively. Insecticides are used in agriculture, medicine, industry and by consumers. Insecticides are claimed to be a major factor behind the increase in the 20th-century's agricultural productivity. Nearly all insecticides have the potential to significantly alter ecosystems; many are toxic to humans and/or animals; some become concentrated as they spread along the food chain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Biological pest control</span> Controlling pests using other organisms

Biological control or biocontrol is a method of controlling pests, whether pest animals such as insects and mites, weeds, or pathogens affecting animals or plants by using other organisms. It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natural mechanisms, but typically also involves an active human management role. It can be an important component of integrated pest management (IPM) programs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pest (organism)</span> Organism harmful to humans/our concerns

A pest is any organism harmful to humans or human concerns. The term is particularly used for creatures that damage crops, livestock, and forestry or cause a nuisance to people, especially in their homes. Humans have modified the environment for their own purposes and are intolerant of other creatures occupying the same space when their activities impact adversely on human objectives. Thus, an elephant is unobjectionable in its natural habitat but a pest when it tramples crops.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pesticide resistance</span> Decreased effectiveness of a pesticide on a pest

Pesticide resistance describes the decreased susceptibility of a pest population to a pesticide that was previously effective at controlling the pest. Pest species evolve pesticide resistance via natural selection: the most resistant specimens survive and pass on their acquired heritable changes traits to their offspring. If a pest has resistance then that will reduce the pesticide's efficacy – efficacy and resistance are inversely related.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Colorado potato beetle</span> Species of beetle

The Colorado potato beetle is also known as the Colorado beetle, the ten-striped spearman, the ten-lined potato beetle, or the potato bug. It is a major pest of potato crops. It is about 10 mm long, with a bright yellow/orange body and five bold brown stripes along the length of each of its elytra. Native to the Rocky Mountains, it spread rapidly in potato crops across America and then Europe from 1859 onwards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Integrated pest management</span> Approach for economic control of pests

Integrated pest management (IPM), also known as integrated pest control (IPC) is a broad-based approach that integrates both chemical and non-chemical practices for economic control of pests. IPM aims to suppress pest populations below the economic injury level (EIL). The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization defines IPM as "the careful consideration of all available pest control techniques and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are economically justified and reduce or minimize risks to human health and the environment. IPM emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms." Entomologists and ecologists have urged the adoption of IPM pest control since the 1970s. IPM allows for safer pest control.

A biopesticide is a biological substance or organism that damages, kills, or repels organisms seen as pests. Biological pest management intervention involves predatory, parasitic, or chemical relationships.

In agriculture and gardening, a beneficial organism is any organism that benefits the growing process, including insects, arachnids, other animals, plants, bacteria, fungi, viruses, and nematodes. Benefits include pest control, pollination, and maintenance of soil health. The opposite of beneficial organisms are pests, which are organisms deemed detrimental to the growing process. There are many different types of beneficial organisms as well as beneficial microorganisms. Also, microorganisms have things like salt and sugar in them. Beneficial organisms include but are not limited to: Birds, Bears, Nematodes, Insects, Arachnids, and fungi. The ways that birds and bears are considered beneficial is mainly because they consume seeds from plant and spread them through feces. Birds also prey on certain insects that eat plants and hinder them from growing these insects are known as non beneficial organisms. Nematodes are considered beneficial because they will help compost and provide nutrients for the soil the plants are growing in. Insects and arachnids help the growing process because they prey on non beneficial organisms that consume plants for food. Fungi help the growing process by using long threads of mycelium that can reach very long distances away from the tree or plant and bring water and nutrients back to the tree or plant roots.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Light brown apple moth</span> Species of moth (Epiphyas postvittana)

The light brown apple moth is a leafroller moth belonging to the lepidopteran family Tortricidae.

Non-pesticidal Management (NPM) describes various pest-control techniques which do not rely on pesticides. It is used in organic production of foodstuff, as well as in other situations in which the introduction of toxins is undesirable. Instead of the use of synthetic toxins, pest control is achieved by biological means.

Forest integrated pest management or Forest IPM is the practice of monitoring and managing pest and environmental information with pest control methods to prevent pest damage to forests and forest habitats by the most economical means.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diamondback moth</span> Species of moth

The diamondback moth, sometimes called the cabbage moth, is a moth species of the family Plutellidae and genus Plutella. The small, grayish-brown moth sometimes has a cream-colored band that forms a diamond along its back. The species may have originated in Europe, South Africa, or the Mediterranean region, but it has now spread worldwide.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pesticide application</span> Delivery of pesticides

Pesticide application refers to the practical way in which pesticides are delivered to their biological targets. Public concern about the use of pesticides has highlighted the need to make this process as efficient as possible, in order to minimise their release into the environment and human exposure. The practice of pest management by the rational application of pesticides is supremely multi-disciplinary, combining many aspects of biology and chemistry with: agronomy, engineering, meteorology, socio-economics and public health, together with newer disciplines such as biotechnology and information science.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Environmental impact of pesticides</span> Environmental effect

The environmental effects of pesticides describe the broad series of consequences of using pesticides. The unintended consequences of pesticides is one of the main drivers of the negative impact of modern industrial agriculture on the environment. Pesticides, because they are toxic chemicals meant to kill pest species, can affect non-target species, such as plants, animals and humans. Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species, because they are sprayed or spread across entire agricultural fields. Other agrochemicals, such as fertilizers, can also have negative effects on the environment.

<i>Helicoverpa punctigera</i> Species of moth

Helicoverpa punctigera, the native budworm, Australian bollworm or Chloridea marmada, is a species of moth in the family Noctuidae. This species is native to Australia. H. punctigera are capable of long-distance migration from their inland Australian habitat towards coastal regions and are an occasional migrant to New Zealand.

<i>Phyllocnistis citrella</i> Species of moth

The citrus leafminer is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is also known as CLM in agriculture. It was described by Henry Tibbats Stainton from India in 1856. It was first found in Florida, United States, in 1993, but is now found all over the world, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Corsica, Costa Rica, Cuba, India, Israel, Madeira, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka and other parts of the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gypsy moths in the United States</span> Spread of an invasive species

The gypsy moth, also known as the spongy moth, was introduced in 1868 into the United States by Étienne Léopold Trouvelot, a French scientist living in Medford, Massachusetts. Because native silk-spinning caterpillars were susceptible to disease, Trouvelot imported the species in order to breed a more resistant hybrid species. Some of the moths escaped, found suitable habitat, and began breeding. The gypsy moth is now a major pest of hardwood trees in the Eastern United States.

The Coconut black headed caterpillar, is a species of moth found in throughout East Asian countries including Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, as well as Indonesia. It is considered a pest of coconut palm trees, causing considerable damage to the trees, and reducing the plant's yield significantly and can be a major problem where coconuts contribute to the economy. The species exists on coconut palms through its life stages from larval to moth, and utilizes the tree fronds as a main source of nutrition. Various methods of control have been explored, yet the primary control method is the administration of pesticides directly to the root of the coconut palms.

Integrated pest management in museums, libraries, archives and private collections is the practice of monitoring and managing pest and environmental information with pest control methods to prevent pest damage to collections and cultural property. Preserving cultural property is the ultimate goal for these institutions. The pests come in many different forms: insects, mites, rodents, bats, birds, and fungi and the two most common types are insects and fungi. It is widely recommended that every museum have some form of pest control in place and monitoring system to protect their collection and that museums review their storage and museum facilities to determine how to best control and prevent pest infestations while utilizing an Integrated Pest Management plan.


  1. Elliott, N. C., Farrell, J. A., Gutierrez, A. P., van Lenteren, J. C., Walton, M. P., & Wratten, S. (1995). Integrated pest management. Springer Science & Business Media.
  2. Dent, D., & Binks, R. H. (2020). Insect pest management. Cabi.
  3. Flint, M. L., & Van den Bosch, R. (2012). Introduction to integrated pest management. Springer Science & Business Media.
  4. Gerozisis, J., Hadlington, P. W., & Staunton, I. (2008). Urban pest management in Australia. UNSW Press.
  5. Taylor, D., The Complete Contented Cat: Your Ultimate Guide to Feline Fulfilment , David & Charles, 2011, p.9. Archived from the Original [ permanent dead link ]
  6. Beadle, Muriel (29 October 1979). Cat. Simon and Schuster. ISBN   978-0-671-25190-1.
  7. Sherman, D.M., Tending Animals in the Global Village: A Guide to International Veterinary Medicine, John Wiley & Sons, 2007, p. 45.
  8. Chrispeels, Maarten J.; Sadava, David E. (1994). Plants, Genes, and Agriculture . Jones and Bartlett Publishers. p.  452. ISBN   978-0-86720-871-9.
  9. 1 2 "The History of Integrated Pest Management". Cornell University. Retrieved 27 August 2017. which cites Orlob, G.B. (1973). "Ancient and medieval plant pathology". Pflanzenschutz-Nachrichten. 26: 65–294.
  10. 1 2 van Emden, Helmut F. (1991). Pest Control. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–4. ISBN   978-0-521-42788-3.
  11. van Emden, H.F.; Service, M.W. (2004). Pest and Vector Control. Cambridge University Press. p. 147. ISBN   978-0-521-01083-2.
  12. Flint, Maria Louise; Dreistadt, Steve H. (1998). Clark, Jack K. (ed.). Natural Enemies Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Biological Pest Control. University of California Press. ISBN   978-0-520-21801-7. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016.
  13. "Augmentation: The Periodic Release of Natural Enemies". University of Wisconsin. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  14. "Bacillus thuringienis Factsheet". Colorado State University . Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  15. "Agriotes sputator L. - Common Click Beetle (Wireworm)". Interactive Agricultural Ecological Atlas of Russia and Neighboring Countries. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  16. Wright, R. j (1984). "Evaluation of crop rotation for control of Colorado potato beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in commercial potato fields on Long Island". Journal of Economic Entomology. 77 (5): 1254–1259. doi:10.1093/jee/77.5.1254.
  17. Shelton, A. M.; Badenes-Perez, F. R. (6 December 2005). "Concepts and applications of trap cropping in pest management". Annual Review of Entomology. 51 (1): 285–308. doi:10.1146/annurev.ento.51.110104.150959. PMID   16332213.
  18. 1 2 Holden, Matthew H.; Ellner, Stephen P.; Lee, Doo-Hyung; Nyrop, Jan P.; Sanderson, John P. (1 June 2012). "Designing an effective trap cropping strategy: the effects of attraction, retention and plant spatial distribution". Journal of Applied Ecology. 49 (3): 715–722. Bibcode:2012JApEc..49..715H. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02137.x .
  19. Hill, Dennis S. (1983). Agricultural Insect Pests of the Tropics and Their Control. CUP Archive. pp. 4–5. ISBN   978-0-521-24638-5.
  20. Georghiou, G.P. (2012). Pest Resistance to Pesticides. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 1–3. ISBN   978-1-4684-4466-7.
  21. 1 2 Carrington, Damian (29 June 2017). "Pesticides damage survival of bee colonies, landmark study shows". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  22. "Pesticides". National Institute of Health Sciences. National Institute of Environmental Health. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  23. "Toxicity of Pesticides". Pesticide Safety Education Program. 2012. Archived from the original on 21 July 2021. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  24. "Maximum Residue Levels". Plants. European Commission. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  25. "Host Plant Resistance". University of Wisconsin. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  26. Smith, Charles Michael (2005). Plant resistance to arthropods: molecular and conventional approaches. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer. ISBN   978-1-4020-3702-3.
  27. Pedigo, Larry P.; Rice, Marlin E.; Krell, Rayda K. (15 March 2021). Entomology and Pest Management: Seventh Edition. Waveland Press. ISBN   978-1-4786-4713-3.
  28. Stearns, Stacey (3 October 2017). "Genetic Engineering and Plant Protection | Science of GMOs". Genetic Engineering and Plant Protection. University of Connecticut. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  29. "Disease Resistant Vegetable Varieties | Cornell Vegetables". Cornell University. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  30. Tellman, Barbara. "Varmint control in Cochise County over the years." (2005)
  31. Allendorf, Fred W.; Hard, Jeffrey J. "Human-induced evolution caused by unnatural selection through harvest of wild animals." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106. Supplement 1 (2009): 9987-9994
  32. Lieutier, François; Day, Keith R.; Battisti, Andrea; Grégoire, Jean-Claude; Evans, Hugh F. (2007). Bark and Wood Boring Insects in Living Trees in Europe, a Synthesis. Springer. p. 39. ISBN   978-1-4020-2241-8.
  33. Humme, Hans E.; Miller, Thomas A. (2012). Techniques in Pheromone Research. Springer. p. 432. ISBN   978-1-4612-5220-7.
  34. Macdonald, D. R. (1968). "Management of Spruce Budworm Populations". The Forestry Chronicle. 44 (3): 33–36. doi: 10.5558/tfc44033-3 .
  35. 1 2 Pat O'Connor-Marer (2006). Residential, Industrial, and Institutional Pest Control. UCANR Publications. pp. 2–17. ISBN   978-1-879906-70-9.
  36. "ESDAW-EU". Animal Policy In The EU. European Union. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  37. Eger, Christopher (28 July 2013). "Marlin 25MG Garden Gun". Marlin Firearms Forum. Outdoor Hub LLC. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  38. 1 2 Pat O'connor-marer (2006). Residential, Industrial, and Institutional Pest Control. UCANR Publications. ISBN   978-1-879906-70-9.
  39. Flint, M.L.; Wilen, C.A. "Snails and slugs". Pests in Gardens and Landscapes. UC IPM. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  40. Scientific American. Munn & Company. 26 September 1885. p. 195.
  41. 1 2 Anderson, Emma (9 June 2015). "Farmer poisoned 24 animals in bid to kill wolf". The Local. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  42. Barkham, Patrick (2 October 2014). "Gamekeeper found guilty of poisoning 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  43. Newton, Ian (2010). Population Ecology of Raptors. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 262. ISBN   978-1-4081-3854-0.
  44. 1 2 Fred Baur (1 December 1984). Insect Management for Food Storage and Processing. American Association of Cereal Chemists. ISBN   978-0-913250-38-9.
  45. Thacker, J.R.M. (2002). An Introduction to Arthropod Pest Control. Cambridge University Press. p. 193. ISBN   978-0-521-56787-9.
  46. Dyck, V.A.; Hendrichs, J.; Robinson, A.S. (2006). Sterile Insect Technique: Principles and Practice in Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 4. ISBN   978-1-4020-4051-1.
  47. Bowerman, Alan M.; Brooks, Joe E. (1971). "Evaluation of U-5897 as a male chemosterilant for rat control". Journal of Wildlife Management . 35 (4): 618–624. doi:10.2307/3799765. JSTOR   3799765.
  48. 1 2 Tracy Swartz (22 December 2014). "CTA to put rats on birth control". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  49. "ContraPest Rodent Control Product Wins EPA Approval". Pest Control Technology, GIA Media. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  50. "Finding Money in the Attic". Pest Control Technology, GIA Media. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  51. 1 2 3 4 Buckle, A. P.; Smith, Robert H. (2015). Rodent pests and their control. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK. p. x+422. ISBN   978-1-78064-129-4. OCLC   909425458.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) ISBN   9781845938178.
  52. "Help WildCare Pursue Stricter Rodenticide Controls in California". Wild Care. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  53. "Safer Rodenticide Products". USA Environment Protection Agency. March 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  54. "Pest Control and Pesticide Safety for Consumers". 21 February 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  55. Craft, Stephanie (10 May 2017). "5 Reasons Why a DIY Approach to Pest Control Fails" . Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  56. Balsam fir oil (129035) Fact Sheet | Pesticides | US EPA
  58. World AgroForestry Centre Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  59. "Mediterranean Flour Moth (Department of Entomology)". Department of Entomology (Penn State University). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  60. 1 2 Jacobs, Steve (1 January 2013). "Cereal and Pantry Pests". Penn State: Department of Entomology. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  61. Hahn, Jeffrey; Jesse, Laura; Pellitteri, Phil. "Insect pests of stored foods". University of Minnesota Extension. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  62. 1 2 Choe, D.-H. (1 March 2013). "Clothes moths". Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  63. 1 2 Choe, D.-H. (1 December 2012). "Carpet beetles". Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  64. 1 2 3 "Conservation: Approaches to Insect Problems in Paper and Books". Harry Ransom Center. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  65. Greenfield, Jane (2014). The Care of Fine Books. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 67. ISBN   978-1-62914-048-3.
  66. Murray, Stuart (2009). The Library: An Illustrated History. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 198.
  67. Gerozisis, John; Hadlington, Phillip; Staunton, Ion (2008). Urban Pest Management in Australia. UNSW Press. pp. 131–135. ISBN   978-0-86840-894-1.
  68. Thorne, Ph.D, Barbara L. (1999). NPMA Research Report On Subterranean Termites. Dunn Loring, VA: NPMA. p. 41.
  69. "Termite Control: Answers for Homeowners". Termite control. University of Kentucky: Entomology. 1 March 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  70. National Academy of Sciences (U.S.). Panel on Perspectives in Mosquito-Control Methods Suitable for Developing Countries (1973). Mosquito Control: Some Perspectives for Developing Countries. National Academies. pp. 2–6.
  71. 1 2 Murton, R.K.; Wright, E.N. (2013). The Problems of Birds as Pests: Proceedings of a Symposium Held at the Royal Geographical Society, London, on 28 and 29 September 1967. Elsevier. pp. 100, 184. ISBN   978-1-4832-6836-1.
  72. Reed Business Information (29 May 1986). New Scientist. Reed Business Information. pp. 44–47. ISSN   0262-4079.{{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  73. Swaddle, John P.; Moseley, Dana L.; Hinders, Mark K.; Peyton Smith, E. (6 May 2016). "Sonic net could save birds and aircraft, study suggests". University of Exeter. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  74. "Environment Protection Act 1997 ACT". Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  75. "Occupational Heath and Safety Regulation 2001 NSW pursuant to the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000" (PDF). 20 August 2021.
  76. "Occupational Heath and Safety Regulation 2001 NSW pursuant to the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000. Part 9.1" (PDF). 17 July 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 November 2006.
  77. "Pesticides Regulations 2003 SA Pursuant to Controlled Substances Act 1984 SA". Archived from the original on 18 September 2006. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  78. "Health (Pest Control) Regulations 2002 Vic pursuant to the Health Act 1958 Vic" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  79. "Health (Pesticide) Regulations 1956 WA pursuant to Health Act 1911 WA". Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  80. "The Insecticides Act 1968" (PDF).
  81. "Pesticide Act 1974" (PDF).
  82. "Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act".
  83. "Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949".