The use of synthetic pesticides in IPM is a difficult topic as it conflicts with the key issues of sustainability, environmental safety and conservation of defenders.
Therefore, Integrated Pest Management considers the use of pesticides only if all other IPM tactics are unable to keep a pest population at an acceptable level. Only as a last resort pesticides can be used to control the pest.
Pesticides have certain advantages (they are efficient in killing pests) but they have also several disadvantages (they also kill beneficial insects, risk for the user, risk for the environment, etc.). The decision to use pesticides and the selection of pesticides should therefore be made only after careful consideration of the pros and cons.
Many different types of pesticides are available. In Thailand, over three hundred* different active ingredients are registered for use in agriculture. All these chemicals have different properties and are meant for specific purposes. This means that when a farmer decides to use pesticides he will still have to make a well-informed choice before purchasing a pesticide.
* Note: This text was written in 2005, some information may have changed since then.
The following pages and websited provide more information on pesticides:
- Problems associated with pesticides.
Background information on the various risks for farmers, consumers and the environment, and other problems that are associated with the use of synthetic pesticides.
- Risk reduction.
Each use of pesticides has certain risks. This page provides information on the reduction of risks during handling and storage of pesticides.
- Different types of pesticides.
Learn more about the different types of pesticides and how they can be classified.
- Pesticides and Farmers’ Health.
Farmers themselves carried out health surveys to learn more about the hazardous effects of pesticides in their communities.
- Chemical families of pesticides
Learn more about the different chemical families of pesticides and their health effects.
- Pesticides database.
The best place to find information about pesticides is the PAN Pesticide Database (http://www.pesticideinfo.org/). On that website you can search for chemicals to find information about their classification, toxicity and other health effects.
- Pesticide residue testing.
Learn more about the methods that are used to detect pesticide residues in food, such as the GT-test kit and the QuEChERS method.