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,...

Pesticide Spray Record Sheet: Chemical Application Log

Pesticide Spray Record Sheet: Chemical Application Log
by Journals For All (Author)


Blank Chemical Application LogGet Your Copy Today!Large Size 8.5 inches by 11 inchesEnough space for writingInclude sections for:Date and TimeLocation of ApplicationOwner’s NameAddressPhone Number and EmailApplicator’s NameAddressPhone Number and EmailBrand of Product UsedFormulation of Product UsedManufacture and Expiry DateWeather and TemperatureWind Speed and DirectionReason for ApplicationEquipment UsedSoil TypeArea CoveredTarget of ApplicationApplication Start and Finish TimeQuantity AppliedNotesBuy One Today and have a record of your chemical...

PESTICIDE USE (Fundamental Series) (Passbooks)

PESTICIDE USE (Fundamental Series) (Passbooks)
by Jack Rudman (Author)




Pesticide-Free Garden: Natural Ways to Organic Gardening: (Gardening for Beginners, Organic Gardening)

Pesticide-Free Garden: Natural Ways to Organic Gardening: (Gardening for Beginners, Organic Gardening)


Getting Your FREE Bonus
Download this book, read it to the end and see "BONUS: Your FREE Gift" chapter after the conclusion.
Pesticide-Free Garden: Natural Ways to Organic Gardening
To maintain the health of your garden, it is essential to use organic ways to get rid of pets and have a healthy garden. There are various ways to prepare your own sprays and pesticides. These recipes are healthy to control the growth of pests and improve the health of your garden. With the help of these methods, your garden will be free from pesticides. These recipes are inexpensive and help you to avoid the use of harmful pesticides. These sprays will be good to make your garden healthy. You can reduce environmental pollution and various other harmful effects. These are easy to prepare at home...

Pesticides, A Love Story: America's Enduring Embrace of Dangerous Chemicals (Cultureamerica)

Pesticides, A Love Story: America's Enduring Embrace of Dangerous Chemicals (Cultureamerica)
by Michelle Mart (Author)


“Presto! No More Pests!” proclaimed a 1955 article introducing two new pesticides, "miracle-workers for the housewife and back-yard farmer." Easy to use, effective, and safe: who wouldn’t love synthetic pesticides? Apparently most Americans did—and apparently still do. Why—in the face of dire warnings, rising expense, and declining effectiveness—do we cling to our chemicals? Michelle Mart wondered. Her book, a cultural history of pesticide use in postwar America, offers an answer.

America's embrace of synthetic pesticides began when they burst on the scene during World War II and has held steady into the 21st century—for example, more than 90% of soybeans grown in the US in 2008 are Roundup Ready GMOs, dependent upon generous use of the herbicide glyphosate to control...

Pesticide Application Record Book: Chemical Application Log

Pesticide Application Record Book: Chemical Application Log
by Journals For All (Author)


Blank Chemical Application LogGet Your Copy Today!Large Size 8.5 inches by 11 inchesEnough space for writingInclude sections for:Date and TimeLocation of ApplicationOwner’s NameAddressPhone Number and EmailApplicator’s NameAddressPhone Number and EmailBrand of Product UsedFormulation of Product UsedManufacture and Expiry DateWeather and TemperatureWind Speed and DirectionReason for ApplicationEquipment UsedSoil TypeArea CoveredTarget of ApplicationApplication Start and Finish TimeQuantity AppliedNotesBuy One Today and have a record of your chemical...

Pesticide Log Book: Chemical Application Log

Pesticide Log Book: Chemical Application Log
by Journals For All (Author)


Blank Chemical Application LogGet Your Copy Today!Large Size 8.5 inches by 11 inchesEnough space for writingInclude sections for:Date and TimeLocation of ApplicationOwner’s NameAddressPhone Number and EmailApplicator’s NameAddressPhone Number and EmailBrand of Product UsedFormulation of Product UsedManufacture and Expiry DateWeather and TemperatureWind Speed and DirectionReason for ApplicationEquipment UsedSoil TypeArea CoveredTarget of ApplicationApplication Start and Finish TimeQuantity AppliedNotesBuy One Today and have a record of your chemical...

Standard Pesticide User's Guide, The (7th Edition)

Standard Pesticide User's Guide, The (7th Edition)
by Bert L. Bohmont (Author)


Covers all aspects of pesticide principles and use, including topics such as: environmental considerations; insects; plant disease agents; weeds; integrated pest management; laws; liability; recordkeeping; labels; safety; formulations; application equipment; transportation; storage; decontamination; and disposal. Using a non-technical presentation, it helps readers gain an understanding of why pesticides are used, how to apply them safely and how to do this within the letter of the law. Supplies the necessary information for pesticide applicators to use pesticides in a responsible manner. Offer readers quick and easy access to reference material such as the United States and Canadian Pesticide Control Offices, restricted use pesticides, pesticide information telephone numbers and Web...

Pollinator Protection a Bee & Pesticide Handbook

Pollinator Protection a Bee & Pesticide Handbook
by A. Johansen Carl (Author), F. Mayer Daniel (Author), J. Connor Lawrence (Editor)


A handbook designed for use by beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, county agents, ag consultants, environmentalists, and research scientists and teachers. The book outlines methods of protecting pollinating bee species to ensure adequate crop pollination. Chapters include: History of Bee Poisoning, Bees and their Relatives, Bee Poisoning Symptoms and Signs, Types of Pesticides, Herbicides, Types of Insecticides, Pesticides Used by Beekeepers, Factors Contributing to Bee Poisoning, Mortality Factors Confused with Poisoning, Food Contamination, Other Contaminant Effects, The Science of Bee Poisoning, Legislation/Regulation, Miscellaneous Poisoning Problems, Reducing Pollinator Damage and Death. There are five Appendixes: Sequential Testing for Bee Hazard, Toxicity of Insecticides...

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