Botanical Pesticides: Environmental Impact

Sharma, H C and War, A R and Sahrawat, K L (2012) Botanical Pesticides: Environmental Impact. In: Environmental Safety of Biotech and Conventional IPM Technologies. Studium Press LLC, Texas, USA, pp. 159-190. ISBN 193369968x

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The insecticidal properties of natural plant products have been known since ancient times. It is estimated that over 2,000plant species possess biological activity against insects, and the principal chemicals that impart such activity include alkaloids, terpenoids, acetogenins and flavonoids. Among the various plant products used as insecticides, nicotine from Nicotiana tabacum and pyrithrins from Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium are the most prominent. Pesticide formulations developed from neem (Azadirachta indica), karanja (Pongamia glabra), and custard apple (Annona squamosa) have also shown promise for pest management. Despite voluminous information on the usefulness of these products as pest control chemicals, their exploitation in practical agriculture is limited due to low toxicity, latent period of action, short shelf-life, rapid degradation, and limited spectrum of activity. However, there is a general prevailing belief that natural plant products are easily biodegradable, and thus, are considered safer as compared to synthetic pesticides. However, there is little information on their metabolism in soil, water and plants. Although considered safe to nontarget natural enemies of crop pests, plant products might still have the same toxic and anti-molting effects on these organisms as on the target arthropods, in addition to their indirect effects through sub-optimal prey. There is very little information on the effects of these products on the activity of microbes in the soil, and on the aquatic organisms. Large-scale use of natural plant products may also have disorienting effects on the foraging behavior of honeybees and other pollinators. Therefore, there is a need to generate information on natural plant products relative to their metabolic products, acute and chronic toxicity, mutagenesis, allergenicity, and teratogenicity as in the case of synthetic

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Others > Fertilizer Applications
Others > Climate Change
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2013 08:52
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 08:53
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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