Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

'Killer spices' provide eco-friendly pesticides for organic fruits and veggies

August 17, 2009

Mention rosemary, thyme, clove, and mint and most people think of a delicious meal. Think bigger-acres bigger. These well-known spices are now becoming organic agriculture's key weapons against insect pests as the industry tries to satisfy demands for fruits and veggies among the growing portion of consumers who want food produced in more natural ways.

In a study presented here today at the American Chemical Society's 238th National Meeting, scientists in Canada are reporting exciting new research on these so-called "essential oil pesticides" or "killer spices." These substances represent a relatively new class of natural insecticides that show promise as an environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional pesticides while also posing less risk to human and animal health, the researcher says.

"We are exploring the potential use of natural pesticides based on plant essential oils - commonly used in foods and beverages as flavorings," says study presenter Murray Isman, Ph.D., of the University of British Columbia. These new pesticides are generally a mixture of tiny amounts of two to four different spices diluted in water. Some kill insects outright, while others repel them.

Over the past decade, Isman and colleagues tested many plant essential oils and found that they have a broad range of insecticidal activity against agricultural pests. Some spiced-based commercial products now being used by farmers have already shown success in protecting organic strawberry, spinach, and tomato crops against destructive aphids and mites, the researcher says.

"These products expand the limited arsenal of organic growers to combat pests," explains Isman. "They're still only a small piece of the insecticide market, but they're growing and gaining momentum."

The natural pesticides have several advantages. Unlike conventional pesticides, these "killer spices" do not require extensive regulatory approval and are readily available. An additional advantage is that insects are less likely to evolve resistance - the ability to shrug off once-effective toxins - Isman says. They're also safer for farm workers, who are at high risk for pesticide exposure, he notes.

But the new pesticides also have shortcomings. Since essential oils tend to evaporate quickly and degrade rapidly in sunlight, farmers need to apply the spice-based pesticides to crops more frequently than conventional pesticides. Some last only a few hours, compared to days or even months for conventional pesticides. As these natural pesticides are generally less potent than conventional pesticides, they also must be applied in higher concentrations to achieve acceptable levels of pest control, Isman says. Researchers are now seeking ways of making the natural pesticides longer-lasting and more potent, he notes.

"They're not a panacea for pest control," cautions Isman. Conventional pesticides are still the most effective way to control caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles and other large insects on commercial food crops, he says. "But at the end of the day, it comes down to what's good for the environment and what's good for human health."

The "killer spices" aren't just limited to agricultural use. Some show promise in the home as eco-friendly toxins and repellents against mosquitoes, flies, and roaches. Unlike conventional bug sprays, which have a harsh odor, these natural pesticides tend to have a pleasant, spicy aroma. Many contain the same oils that are used in aromatherapy products, including cinnamon and peppermint, Isman notes.

Manufacturers have already developed spice-based products that can repel ticks and fleas on dogs and cats without harming the animals. Researchers are now exploring the use of other spice-based products for use on fruits and vegetables to destroy microbes, such as E. coil and Salmonella, which cause food poisoning.

Other scientists are currently exploring the insect-fighting potential of lavender, basil, bergamot, patchouli oil, and at least a dozen other oils from exotic plant sources in China. Funding for this study was provided by EcoSMART®, a botanical pesticide company based in Alpharetta, Ga.

American Chemical Society


Related Pesticides Current Events and Pesticides News Articles


Poor communities a 'hotbed' of entrepreneurial creativity, but need help to grow long-term
Necessity can be the mother of invention, but without financial and business development support, many impoverished entrepreneurs can't get past the start-up phase of establishing a unique new business.

Rhythm of 'detox' and feeding genes in fruitflies and mice coordinated by neuropeptide
A 24-hour rhythm of cellular detoxification in flies and mammals is coordinated by a neuropeptide that also drives feeding in both organisms, found a team led by Amita Sehgal, PhD, a professor of Neuroscience and director of the Chronobiology Program, in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nation's beekeepers lost 44 percent of bees in 2015-16
Beekeepers across the United States lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey.

Pesticide exposure may be ALS risk factor
New research shows environmental pollutants could affect the chances a person will develop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Elevated bladder cancer risk in New England and arsenic in drinking water
A new study has found that drinking water from private wells, particularly dug wells established during the first half of the 20th century, may have contributed to the elevated risk of bladder cancer that has been observed in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont for over 50 years.

Aerial spraying to combat mosquitos linked to increased risk of autism in children
New research to be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting suggests that the use of airplanes to spray anti-mosquito pesticides may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder and developmental delays among children.

Phosphorus 'tax' could be huge if tropical farming intensifies
One way to feed the globe's growing population is to ramp up intensive farming in tropical regions, but doing so will require a lot of fertilizer -- particularly phosphorus.

Argentinian researchers develop trap for mosquito that transmits Zika
Argentinian researchers from the Centro de Investigaciones de Plagas e Insecticidas have developed a new trap that can be used to effectively monitor and control the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the primary transmitter of Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.

Banned EU pesticide affects learning of honeybees but not bumblebees
Exposure to a pesticide banned by the European Union significantly affects the learning of honeybees but has no effect on bumblebees - scientists from the University of Sussex have discovered.

Common pesticides kill amphibian parasites, study finds
The combined effects of pesticides and parasites threaten wildlife populations worldwide (e.g. amphibians, honeybees).
More Pesticides Current Events and Pesticides News Articles

The Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides, 3rd Ed (Pesticide Application Compendium)

The Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides, 3rd Ed (Pesticide Application Compendium)
by S Whithaus (Author), L Blecker (Author)


The first update to this key reference guide in over 15 years! This revised edition contains a new format making it even easier to study for the DPR exams. In addition to the review questions found at the end of each chapter, this new edition contains knowledge expectations at the beginning of each chapter. These brief statements describe what you are expected to learn after reading that chapter, allowing you to study more effectively for DPR s pesticide applicator licensing (QAL/QAC) exams. These knowledge expectations are also highlighted in sidebars throughout each chapter, providing a study roadmap so you know which sections of each chapter are most important. Also new:
Updated pesticides table to reflect products available in California
Updated information on nematodes,...

Homemade pesticides: A collection of 37 homemade organic pesticides

Homemade pesticides: A collection of 37 homemade organic pesticides


This book is about natural and organic pesticides which you can prepare at home using some simple ingredients we usually have at home. None of these are harmful for nature or has any poison. This book is divided into three chapters- liquid pesticides, dry pesticides and all purpose pesticides. You will get information about how to make these and how to use those on what kind of pests in this book. This book is a collection of 37 organic pesticides –a book you should buy. 
Buy any book from ninety nine cents press @0.99$only.

The Myths of Safe Pesticides

The Myths of Safe Pesticides
by André Leu (Author)


The chemical-based conventional agriculture industry claims that the synthesized concoctions they sell as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are safe when used as directed, but does the scientific evidence truly support their assertions? Organic agriculturist and lecturer André Leu delves into a wealth of respected scientific journals to present the peer-reviewed evidence that proves the claims of chemical companies and pesticide regulators are not all they seem. Leu translates technical jargon into layman s terms to break down the five most-repeated myths about pesticide safety, refuting them using scientific data. The pesticide industry argues that agriculture, and the global population itself, cannot survive without its products, but Leu warns that we are at risk unless we break...

The Pesticide Conspiracy

The Pesticide Conspiracy
by Robert Van Den Bosch (Author)


Professor van den Bosch of the University of California was one of the developers of Integrated Pest Management—the use of biological controls, improved pest knowledge and observation, and judicious application of chemicals only when absolutely necessary. His research often suggested that less or no pesticides should be applied, which made him the target of both open and clandestine attack from industry and government figures. In protest, he wrote this passionate account of what Ecology called "the ultimate social disaster of: evolving pesticide-resistant insects, the destruction of their natural predators and parasites, emergent populations of new insect pests, downstream water pollution, atmospheric pollution, the 'accidental' killing of wildlife and people, and the bankruptcies of...

Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology

Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology
by Frederick Rowe Davis (Author)


Silent Spring catalyzed an environmental movement in the 1960s and achieved a ban on DDT, but are the alternatives any less toxic?

Rachel Carson’s eloquent book Silent Spring stands as one of the most important books of the twentieth century and inspired important and long-lasting changes in environmental science and government policy. Frederick Rowe Davis thoughtfully sets Carson’s study in the context of the twentieth century, reconsiders her achievement, and analyzes its legacy in light of toxic chemical use and regulation today.
 
Davis examines the history of pesticide development alongside the evolution of the science of toxicology and tracks legislation governing exposure to chemicals across the twentieth century. He affirms the brilliance of Carson’s careful...

The Pesticide Encyclopedia

The Pesticide Encyclopedia
by Kalyani Paranjape (Editor), Vasant Gowariker (Editor), V. N. Krishnamurthy (Editor), Sudha Gowariker (Editor)


In today's world, food security is an important issue. Food shortages push prices up, impacting upon the health and well-being of hundreds of millions of rural poor across the globe. One way to increase food security is to decrease the amount of yield lost to pests. The Pesticide Encyclopedia provides a comprehensive overview of the fight against pests, covering chemical pesticides, biocontrol agents and biopesticides. It also covers interrelated topics such as pesticide toxicity, legislation and regulation, handling, storage and safety aspects, IPM techniques, resistance management, interaction of pesticides with soil and the environment.

An important reference for policy makers, advisers and students and researchers of crop science, this book also includes useful notes on...

Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides: Pesticide Application Compendium

Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides: Pesticide Application Compendium
by P. Marer (Author)


From Introduction - Applying pesticides requires many special skills and responsibilities. As a person who applies pesticides or supervises pesticide applicators, you must be sure pesticides are handled properly and safely. Protecting the environment is also a major concern and you must be familiar with the laws regarding their use and disposal. (Description by http-mart, Roy Schoenbeck)

Pesticide Resistance in Arthropods

Pesticide Resistance in Arthropods
by Richard Roush (Editor), Bruce E. Tabashnik (Editor)


Bruce E. Tabashnik and Richard T. Roush Pesticide resistance is an increasingly urgent worldwide problem. Resistance to one or more pesticides has been documented in more than 440 species of insects and mites. Resistance in vectors of human dise8se, particularly malaria-transmit­ ting mosquitoes, is a serious threat to public health in many nations. Agricultural productivity is jeopardized because of widespread resistance in crop and livestock pests. Serious resistance problems are also evident in pests of the urban environ­ ment, most notably cockroaches. Better understanding of pesticide resistance is needed to devise techniques for managing resistance (Le. , slowing, preventing, or reversing development of resistance in pests and promoting it in beneficial natural enemies). At the...

Air Pollution Caused by Pesticides 1991: The first research of the air pollution caused by pesticides in Japan (Japanese Edition)

Air Pollution Caused by Pesticides 1991: The first research of the air pollution caused by pesticides in Japan (Japanese Edition)


日本で初めて「農薬による大気汚染」について体系的に研究が始まった論文です。
Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice (Food, Health, and the Environment)

Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice (Food, Health, and the Environment)
by Jill Lindsey Harrison (Author)


The widespread but virtually invisible problem of pesticide drift -- the airborne movement of agricultural pesticides into residential areas -- has fueled grassroots activism from Maine to Hawaii. Pesticide drift accidents have terrified and sickened many living in the country's most marginalized and vulnerable communities. In this book, Jill Lindsey Harrison considers political conflicts over pesticide drift in California, using them to illuminate the broader problem and its potential solutions. The fact that pesticide pollution and illnesses associated with it disproportionately affect the poor and the powerless raises questions of environmental justice (and political injustice). Despite California's impressive record of environmental protection, massive pesticide regulatory apparatus,...

© 2017 BrightSurf.com