Many chemical products are available that can be used to control insects or diseases. They are called synthetic pesticides. Pesticides are usually used for treating crops or soil, but can also be used in seed treatment, in poisoned baits and sometimes in traps.
Integrated Pest Management depends on the beneficial insects and spiders to keep pests under control. Chemical pesticides destroy these “crop defenders”. Therefore, the use of pesticides should be avoided as much as possible.
Pesticides can even create pests. For example, outbreaks of Brown Plant Hopper (BPH) are usually the result of pesticide use. In a pesticide free environment, many beneficial spiders and insects are present, which keep the BPH population under control. If these beneficials are destroyed, the BPH population will quickly build up and cause hopper burn. It is therefore often said that BPH is a man-made pest. In most cases, BPH can be easily avoided by not using pesticides.
Another reason to discourage the use of synthetic pesticides is their toxicity. They form a health hazard for the users (farmers), the consumers and the environment (fish, birds, honey bees, etc.).
Already many insects have developed resistance to pesticides. This forces farmers to use ever-higher doses to kill the pest, which even worsens all the negative side effects.
Pesticides are not a durable solution for the farmer. IPM is promoting alternative methods for a safer and sustainable agriculture.
Many pesticides are produced abroad and have to be purchased on the international market with hard currencies. IPM can help to reduce these expensive imports.