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Pesticide is any substance intended to control, destroy, repel, or attract animal pest.
Pest is any living organism that causes damage or economic loss or transmits or
produces disease. Pests can be animals (like insects or mice), unwanted plants (weeds), or
microorganisms (like plant diseases, bacteria and viruses).
Types of Pesticides:
Based on Purpose:

Algicides control algae in lakes, canals, swimming pools, water tanks, and other sites.
Antifouling agents kill or repel organisms that attach to underwater surfaces, such as
boat bottoms.
Antimicrobials kill microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses).
Attractants attract pests (for example, to lure an insect or rodent to a trap). (However,
food is not considered a pesticide when used as an attractant.)
Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as
animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals.
Biocides kill microorganisms.
Disinfectants and sanitizers kill or inactivate disease-producing microorganisms on
inanimate objects.
Fungicides kill fungi (including blights, mildews, molds, and rusts).
Fumigants produce gas or vapor intended to destroy pests in buildings or soil.
Herbicides kill weeds and other plants that grow where they are not wanted.
Insecticides kill insects and other arthropods.
Miticides (also called acaricides) kill mites that feed on plants and animals.
Microbial pesticides kill and inhibit pests, including insects or other microorganisms.
Molluscicides kill snails and slugs.
Nematicides kill nematodes (microscopic, worm-like organisms that feed on plant
Ovicides kill eggs of insects and mites.
Pheromones are biochemical used to disrupt the mating behavior of insects.
Repellents repel pests, including insects (such as mosquitoes) and birds.
Rodenticides control mice and other rodents.

Based on Exposure:
Acute exposure refers to a one-time contact with a pesticide. When experimental
animals are exposed to a pesticide to study its acute toxicity, acute exposure is defined as
contact for 24 hours or less. Acute effects can be readily detected and more easily studied than
chronic effects. Immediate toxic effects are more likely to be produced by those pesticides that
are rapidly absorbed.

Chronic exposure refers to a repeated contact with a pesticide. The study of chronic
toxicity is accomplished by repeatedly exposing test animals for more than three months. In
addition to producing long-term low-level effects, chronic exposure to pesticides may result in
immediate, "acute" effects after each exposure. In other words, frequent exposure to a chemical
can produce acute and chronic symptoms. The potential for a chronic effect is related to the
level and frequency of exposure received.

Herbicide is a substance that is toxic to plants and is used to destroy unwanted

Types of herbicides:
Based on Time of Application:
Pre-emergence- herbicides applied before the plant grows.
Post-emergence- herbicides applied during or after the plant grows
Pre-Emergent Herbicides Example of known brands):

Prodiamine (Barricade equivalent) is the longest-lasting, and most economical due to

lowest application rates.

Isoxaben (Gallery equivalent) prevents a very large list of Broadleaf Weeds. A great
tank mix with other Pre-Emergents that prevent mostly Grassy Weeds.

Oxadiazon (Ronstar equivalent) is a great granular option safe in all turf and

Post-Emergent Herbicides (Example of known brands):

Roundup ProMax provides trusted down-to-the-root kill of annual & perennial weeds,
and is rain-fast in 30 minutes.

Roundup QuikPro offers power AND speed, even in cool temperatures, with visible
results in 24 hours.

Speedzone / Speedzone Southern Excellent control of Broadleaf Weeds, safe in


Based on Effects:

Photosynthetic inhibitors ( 45%) act by preventing electron transfer between

photosystem I and II. They include the triazines ( atrazine) and some carbamates.
They have the distinction of being found in more water supplies than any other
herbicides. Government studies stipulate that though they are commonly found, their
levels are too low to cause damage. Others researchers indicate we really don't
know enough - little has been studied in terms of bioaccumulation ( info indicates
some bay organisms can accumulate them in tissues) and how they are flushed our
from soils during periods of downpour.
Photosynthetic energy deviators compete for electron flow at the reducing end of
photosystem I, accepting electrons that would otherwise have been passed on to
ferrodoxin. It rapidly destroys plant cells but in the field sticks to clay so plants can be
planted in a couple of days.This group includes two toxic compounds, paraquat and
diaquat. Paraquat as been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. If
people consume it via plants just sprayed ( ie. marijuana sprayed by agents then
distributed quickly by dealers) or inadvertently it gets into the water system or
recently recognized -has been illegally used to spray for insects inside homes, it can
result in illness or death. Mode of toxicity: acute exposure leads to pulmonary
fibrosis. It also affects enzymes such as insulin, catecholamine levels - all organs are
Inhibitors of chloroplast development, inhibit the formation of internal structures
and block carotenoid synthesis
Uncouplers of respiration - for example they uncouple oxidative phosphorylation in
the production of ATP. Are these really "only" herbicides? This group includes
dinoseb ( LD 50 (rat)= 25 mg/kg; chicken = 40 mg/kg), DNOC

Expamples of Chemicals Used for killing Unwanted plants of Different Kinds:

Chemical name



Herbicide for corn


Herbicide for corn


Herbicide for soybeans


Insecticide for alfalfa or corn

Phenoxy herbicides are of great significance in New Zealand because of their strength
and selectivity. They include a group of herbicides consisting of a benzyl ether, of which the best
known are 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D. This article focuses on 2,4-D and the herbicide formulations made
from it. 2,4-D is manufactured from 2,4-dichlorophenol in a four step process:
Step1 - Phenol neutralisation
The neutralisation step refers to the neutralisation of DCP with caustic soda.
Sufficient caustic soda is added to create alkaline conditions although not all of the DCP
is neutralised during this step. The neutralisation is exothermic with heat removed
through a cooling jacket on the reactor. The product from this neutralisation is sodium
dichlorophenol (NaDCP).
Step 2 - NaMCA production
NaMCA is produced by the neutralisation of monochloroacetic acid (MCAA) with
caustic soda, which is an exothermic reaction. The heat of reaction is removed by
reacting these two chemicals in a heat exchanger prior to adding the NaMCA to the
Step 3 - Condensation
The NaMCA then condenses the NaDCP to produce Na 2,4-D. This reaction is
highly exothermic with the heat of reaction removed through a cooling jacket on the
reactor. Unwanted side reactions do occur but are kept to a minimum through the choice
of optimum operating conditions. NaMCA and water undergo a reaction that produces
sodium glycollate and hydrochloric acid. Due to the alkaline nature of the reaction
mixture, any HCl formed is immediately neutralised with caustic soda to sodium chloride
and water. NaMCA also reacts with caustic soda to produce sodium glycollate and water.
For this reason the stoichiometric ratio of MCAA and caustic soda is strictly controlled to
avoid build-up of excess caustic soda.
Step 4 - Final ageing
As the raw materials are used up, the speed of reaction slows because the
unreacted material is at a low concentration in the reaction mass. An ageing period is
required to ensure the phenol content of the Na 2,4-D is below 0.5 w/w %. During the
ageing step, caustic soda is slowly added to the reaction mass to react with any
remaining phenol. The addition rate is controlled so that alkaline conditions are
maintained in the reactor.

Step 1 - Phenol neutralisation
The (acidic) phenol is neurtralised with caustic soda.
2,4-dicholorophenol + NaOH sodium dichlorophenate (NaDCP) + H2O + heat
Step 2 - NaMCA production
Sodium monochloroacetate is produced in another exothermic reaction.
monochloroacetic acid (MCAA) + NaOH sodium monochloroacetate (NaMCA) +
Step 3 - Condensation
The NaDCP is condensed with NaMCA to produce Na 2,4-D - the sodium salt of 2,4-D.
NaDCP + NaMCA sodium 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetate + NaCl
Step 4 - Final ageing
The Na 2,4-D is aged by the slow addition of NaOH to ensure that the phenol content is
less than 0.5 w/w%.
This Na 2,4-D is then converted to its ethyl hexyl ester, emulsified and sold as a herbicide.


Ancient times: Ashes, common salts, and bitters are used as herbicides

1st century AD: Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, in his Historia naturalis, advocates the
use of arsenic as an insecticide; suggests soda and olive oil for treatment of legumes

16th century: Chinese farmers use arsenicals and nicotine in the form of tobacco
extracts as insecticides

1850s: Pyrethrum and soap see wide use in the West as insecticides; a wash of
tobacco, sulfur, and lime used to combat insects and fungi

1867: The pigment Paris green, an impure form of copper arsenite, is introduced into
United States to control outbreaks of Colorado potato beetle, within a decade Paris
green and kerosene oil emulsion are used against a wide variety of chewing and sucking

1896: A French grape grower applies Bordeaux mixture Cu sulfate & CaOH, observes
nearby weeds turning black, and the idea of selective chemical herbicides is born

1900: Sulfuric acid, copper nitrates, potassium salts are used

1900 -1950 Sodium arsenite solutions become the standard herbicides and are used in
large quantities

1913 - Organomercury seed dressing

1913- 1939 First of several dithiocarbamates fungicides used in US

1939: Insecticidal potential of DDT discovered in Switzerland, leading to synthesis of

thousands of chemicals. Chlorinated hydrocarbons such as DDT, BHC, dieldrin, aldrin&
chlordane, and others, all powerful contact and stomach poisons, see enthusiastic use
against malaria and other insectborne diseases

1950s: Fungicides captan and glyodin appear; organophosphorous insecticide

malathion is introduced

1961 DDT registered for use on 34 different crops as pesticide usage dramatically

1962: Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring, an environmentalist's rallying cry against
pesticide use. The potential of pesticides for bioaccumulation and long-term toxicity
became widely recognized, and pest resistance became increasingly evident. Farmers
stopped using DDT and other chlorinated compounds in favor of organophosphates and
carbamates, which although more acutely toxic, do not persist in the environment.

In 1972, EPA revoked the use of DDT on all food sources in the United States. The
World Health Organization, however, still reserves the right to use DDT on particularly
virulent outbreaks of malaria

1970-80's: Herbicidal sulfonylureas, synthetic fungicides metaxyl and triadimefron, and

light-stable pyrethroid pesticides introduced

1990s: Renewed interest in integrated pest management; intensified research on

biological pest control methods and other alternatives to pesticides. The emergence of
pest management programs, a result of improved knowledge in host-pest interactions,
has helped decrease insecticide use on major crop commodities such as corn,
soybeans, cotton, and wheat since the 1960s.

Today, there is great interest in genetically engineered microbial agents, including

development of pest-resistant transgenic crops and other biological pest control

Methods of Application:
Ground-based Spraying is a type of treatment where the pesticide is applied using equipments
like spray with pump. It is also is the most common type of applying pesticide. The materials
used here have faster effect.
Fogs, mists and smokes are treatments normally used in enclosed spaces or indoors, where
any possible drift is contained. If you want to use these methods you must meet the label
conditions and make your own assessments of risk to human health and the environment. The
COSHH assessment must consider the possible risk of breathing in the very small particles or
droplets associated with these methods. Fogs (like smokes) use finer particles than mists, and
so these stay in the air for considerably longer.
Dusts, granules, pellets and baits is a treatment where the pest will intake the pesticide that
can cause fatality or other form of contol.
Automated Vehicles are use whenever the chemicals are suffocating or in a closed space like
Dipping and drenching treatments are treatments wherein the materials are applied
physically like an ointment. It is used in plants.
Applying pesticides from an aircraft is most effective if the area where you apply pesticide is