A pest is any type of living organism that causes unwanted effects. Pests include organisms in the following groups: fungi, rodents, weeds, slugs and snails, insects, bird mites, and certain wildlife forms (e.g., moose, rabbits). A pesticide is any material used for killing, controlling or managing pests. Pesticides include products that are used to manage plant growth (e.g., growth regulators). A variety of agricultural pests that can damage crops and livestock and reduce farm productivity are commonly used to eliminate or control it.
Sumerians used sulphur compounds to control insects and mites about 4500 years ago, while the Chinese used mercury and arsenic compounds to control body lice about 3200 years ago. Writings from ancient Greece and Rome show that for the control of plant diseases, weeds, insects and animal pests, the use of what can be called chemical methods have been tried. Like various plant extracts such as bitter lupin or wild cucumber smokes were also used against insects. Tar was also used for trapping crawling insects on tree trunks.
Pesticides can be classified in a number of different ways. Most commonly, they are classified according to:
Pesticides are frequently grouped by the pest they control. Here are some examples of target pest classified pesticide groups.
It is also possible to group pesticides according to their mode of action - how they enter or affect the target pest. Two examples of pesticide groups are contact pesticides and systemic pesticides in this type of classification.
Pesticides in the same chemical class or family have a similar chemical structure and typically have a similar mode of action as well as similar symptoms of poisoning, persistence, first aid, clean - up and safety guidelines.Chemical families are: