“-cide” is a great suffix. Homicide, suicide, and infanticide are pretty common terms. But you can add cide to any living noun—regicide is the killing of kings. Femicide is the killing of a woman. Giganticide is the killing of a giant (that is actually a word on dictionary.com). Here at Rest Easy Pest Control, our favorite cide is insecticide—we’ve cided more insects than you could ever imagine. Here’s some background on insecticides:
Insecticides are agents (chemical, biological, or otherwise) used to kill insects. They’re important in medicine, industry, and our homes, but are especially important in agriculture. There was a huge increase in agricultural productivity in this past century, and a large part of it was thanks to insecticides (insects like many of the same foods we do).
Since insects multiply so prodigiously, it makes sense to kill them close to the source—their eggs and larva. Many insecticides are targeted to these two life stages, and they’re known as ovicides and larvicides (respectively).
For man-made insecticides, there are two major forms. The first is called systemic, which is the type used to “treat” plants—insects that eat these plants are then killed. The second form is called contact, which is the type that’s sprayed directly on or around insects.
Most man-made insecticides work by damaging the insects’ nervous systems in some way, such as organochlorides (like DDT), organophosphates, neonicotinoids, ryanoids, and pyrethroids. Other insecticides work by interfering with the insects’ life cycle—like Insect Growth Regulator.
But most insecticides aren’t manmade—they’re made by nature. Since plants can’t run away from their prey, they’ve evolved myriad natural insecticides. (Plants also make “animalcides”—e.g., any plant that is poisonous to humans.) Nicotine is one example of such a biological insecticide.
(Plants can also be genetically modified with transgenes that make them produce biological insecticides. Some species of corn, for example, have had biocide-encoding genes inserted into them. The effects of humans eating these GMOs are relatively unknown.)
Whichever insecticide is used, it’s important to exercise caution—because insecticides often have harmful effects on species other than the target insects. DDT, for example, was killing a lot of birds before its agricultural use was outlawed in the US.
Rest assured, we know the most effective insecticide to use for your pest problem! Give us a call so you can rest easy.