Spraying toxic chemicals in nature is, not surprisingly, toxic
People tell anecdotes of how there used to be more squashed bugs on the windscreen of their cars – and they are right. Scientists believe that insect numbers have declined by almost 25% since 1990. This matters because insects pollinate our plants, clean our water, provide a food source for other animals and are vital to the decomposition of nature’s waste.
One of the main culprits are chemical insecticides. The waving fields of modern agriculture are like a green desert devoid of life. The world as a whole is only increasing its consumption of insecticide, both driven by the development of poorer regions, but also by farmers spraying increasingly prophylactically before pests may, may not, become a problem. Newer insecticides are also more toxic to insects and persist in the fields for longer. Suceptible to leaching, runoff and drift, insecticides end up in unwanted places such as soil, water and neighbouring fields, nature and homes to the detriment of fish, birds and mammals – including humans.
The value of pheromones is best understood on a backdrop of the mounting problems through the history of synthetic insecticides
Chemical insecticides have been exceptionally successful in agriculture for just about 100 years. Why stop? Find out here.