If you want to get rid of pests without maximizing your ecological footprint, then here’s a guide on how to prevent pesticide pollution from pest control.
How Does Pesticide Usage Produce Pollution
Pesticides are a broad phrase that refers to any chemical that is used to eliminate or regulate pests. Insecticides, weed killers, fungicides, and other pesticides are used to protect crops from insects, weeds, fungi, and other pests.
They also play an important part in the production of food. They safeguard or improve yields, as well as the amount of times a crop can be planted on the same piece of land each year.
However, improper usage of pesticide impacts pollution. Here are the areas in which it causes such environmental destruction:
Farmland is frequently well-drained, and land drains help to improve natural drainage. Excess rainfall and irrigation water can usually be contained within the soil structure.
As a result, pesticides and residues (as well as nitrates and phosphates) can be rapidly carried across a vast geographic area, contaminating groundwater and freshwater supplies.
All pesticides have different mobility characteristics in the soil structure, both vertically and horizontally. Residual herbicides are meant to attach to the soil structure when administered immediately to it.
Many pesticides are water soluble because they must be administered with water in order to be ingested by the target. The higher the pesticide’s solubility, the greater the chance of leaching.
Although residual herbicides have a decreased solubility to help with soil binding, their persistence in the soil can bring additional issues.
Pesticides are more likely to travel to ground and surface water when crops are irrigated. Irrigating saturated soils or at a rate that exceeds the rate of soil penetration enhances runoff, which can bring pesticides with it.
Irrigation that encourages rapid downward flow of water further than the root zone of plants also encourages the absorption of pesticides into groundwater. This is especially concerning in locations where coarse-textured soils necessitate frequent irrigation.
To reduce the possibility of pesticides penetrating groundwater, appropriate irrigation management is essential.
How To Prevent Pesticide Pollution
There are a number of things that can be performed to limit the possibility of pesticide contamination.
Reducing the danger of pesticide transmission to surface or groundwater, limiting the amount of pesticide applied, and reducing the permanence or movement of the active components are some of the usual tactics.
1. Proper application
Pesticides should only be used in appropriate weather conditions and with the specified application techniques. Spray recommendations issued by local governments are beneficial in this regard.
Pesticide transmission is reduced through BMPs (Best Management Practices) that limit runoff, soil erosion, or improve soil organic matter content. Riparian buffers, crop rotation, contour farming, strip cropping, and decreased tillage or zero tillage systems are all examples of BMPs.
2. Proper storage
The best approach to avoid accidental spills is to store pesticides in a fire-resistant, spill-proof storage system. It is also quite inexpensive when compared to the costs of cleaning up the results of accidents, spills, or fires.
3. Right pre and post procedures
Pesticide pollution can be avoided in a variety of ways, including the selection of appropriate pesticides, adequate pesticide mixing, and loading techniques. Seedbed preparation and planting enable crops to sprout fast, thereby minimizing initial season disease and insect infestation and so reducing pesticide use.
It’s also critical to properly dispose of pesticide containers, which should be triple washed. Pesticides can leak into the environment from polluted containers open to rain.
4. Protection and treatment of water
Toxic compounds in pesticides and herbicides endanger both the environment and human health. These substances pose a serious harm to humans, animals, aquatic species, and plants.
However, with a concerted effort to safeguard source waters from pesticides and chemical combinations, as well as improved technology to remove polluted water, the influx of pesticides into humans through drinking water can be reduced to a dribble for subsequent generations.
5. Choose less-toxic alternatives
Pesticides are used to kill or manage the pest in question. Pesticides that are “selective” destroy only a few strongly linked organisms.
Others have a larger spectrum of activity, killing a variety of pests as well as non-target creatures.
The majority of pesticides have some harmful environmental consequences. For example, some pesticides with minimal toxicity to humans may be highly poisonous to helpful insects such as parasitic wasps or other desirable organisms such as honey bees, earthworms, or aquatic invertebrates.
Knowing such will push you to browse through this guide on how to know if pest control is safe to use. Most herbicides preferentially eliminate some weeds, but if not handled appropriately, they can also destroy valuable garden plants.
If you are wary of the effects of pest control on humans and the environment, you may also opt for non-pesticide methods. Know more on how to control pests aside from pest control.
A homeowner or not, we must be knowledgeable on how to prevent pesticide pollution from pest control. Death is already knocking at Earth’s door; let’s not be the reason for such.