Insecticide - chemical substance Professional3 weeks ago - Multimedia - Battambang - 11 views
insecticide, any toxic substance that is used to kill insects. Such substances are used primarily to control pests that infest cultivated plants or to eliminate disease-carrying insects in specific areas.
Insecticides can be classified in any of several ways, on the basis of their chemistry, their toxicological action, or their mode of penetration. In the latter scheme, they are classified according to whether they take effect upon ingestion (stomach poisons), inhalation (fumigants), or upon penetration of the body covering (contact poisons). Most synthetic insecticides penetrate by all three of these pathways, however, and hence are better distinguished from each other by their basic chemistry. Besides the synthetics, some organic compounds occurring naturally in plants are useful insecticides, as are some inorganic compounds; some of these are permitted in organic farming applications. Most insecticides are sprayed or dusted onto plants and other surfaces traversed or fed upon by insects.
Modes of penetration
Stomach poisons are toxic only if ingested through the mouth and are most useful against those insects that have biting or chewing mouth parts, such as caterpillars, beetles, and grasshoppers. The chief stomach poisons are the arsenicals—e.g., Paris green (copper acetoarsenite), lead arsenate, and calcium arsenate; and the fluorine compounds, among them sodium fluoride and cryolite. They are applied as sprays or dusts onto the leaves and stems of plants eaten by the target insects. Stomach poisons have gradually been replaced by synthetic insecticides, which are less dangerous to humans and other mammals.
Contact poisons penetrate the skin of the pest and are used against those arthropods, such as aphids, that pierce the surface of a plant and suck out the juices. The contact insecticides can be divided into two main groups: naturally occurring compounds and synthetic organic ones. The naturally occurring contact insecticides include nicotine, developed from tobacco; pyrethrum, obtained from flowers of Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium and Tanacetum coccineum; rotenone, from the roots of Derris species and related plants; and oils, from petroleum. Though these compounds were originally derived mainly from plant extracts, the toxic agents of some of them (e.g., pyrethrins) have been synthesized. Natural insecticides are usually short-lived on plants and cannot provide protection against prolonged invasions. Except for pyrethrum, they have largely been replaced by newer synthetic organic insecticides as technical products.