Toxicants pesticide spray, or absorbing pesticides through their

Toxicants that are designed to kill pests are called pesticides, though pesticides also can affect wildlife, which we do not generally consider to be pests. Pesticides are used to suppress pests such as insects, plant diseases, weeds, or vertebrates that cause damage or are a health risk or nuisance. Among the many types of pesticides are herbicides (used to kill weeds), insecticides (for insects), fungicides (for fungi), rodenticides (for rats and mice), acaricides (for mites and ticks), bactericides (for bacteria), nematicides (for nematodes), molluscicides (for snails and slugs), avicides (for pest birds), piscicides (for pest fish), and algaecides (for algae). Sometimes pesticides are also used to kill vertebrate animals such as coyotes, Canis latrans, or dogs. Most often, the pesticide of concern to vertebrates is an insecticide, although sometimes herbicides and fungicides can cause problems for wildlife. Less often, molluscicides and rodenticides are encountered by wildlife. In any event, the term ‘pesticide’ actually suggests control of more than just insect pests, despite our tendency to equate ‘pests’ with ‘insects’. Pesticides are usually not entirely specific in their action, and can affect plants and animals they are not intended to harm. Wildlife can be exposed to pesticides directly, by eating contaminated food or water, breathing pesticide spray, or absorbing pesticides through their skin. Predators such as hawks and owls can become poisoned by eating other animals that have been exposed to pesticides. Because many insecticides affect the nervous systems of wildlife, exposure to a particular insecticide can affect animals indirectly, by interfering with their ability to survive or reproduce. For example, wildlife may be unable to escape from predators or incubate a nest properly. Given the long history of negative impacts of pesticides on wildlife, it is tempting to indict all pesticides as hazardous, and suspect all wildlife problems as being caused by pesticides. One of the greatest risks associated with pesticides is the movement of the chemical, through drift or runoff, from the target crop to adjacent wetlands or other sensitive habitats. Most pesticides are applied either as liquids (sprays) or granules. So, it is very important to control use of pesticides or apply alternate method like integrated pest management wherever is possible. Every pesticide user has a duty to use chemicals according to label directions. Excessive or unregulated use pesticides are main cause of wildlife destruction.


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