Sept 27 “Silent Spring” Roars

Today is the anniversary of the day that Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, was published. The book that is credited with main streaming environmental awareness and starting the environmental movement.  It raised public debate on pollution and the harmful unintended effects of pesticides, namely DDT (which was later banned for agricultural application in ’72). Though even at the time of its release, DDT use was declining due to increased resistance in the targeted mosquitoes.

This insect resistance is an especially important issue to keep in mind for all pesticide use. Integrated Pest Management (1) (2) is a burgeoning field and something everyone should be aware of, especially in the bug haven of Florida.

Carson wrote in Silent Spring:

No responsible person contends that insect-borne disease should be ignored. The question that has now urgently presented itself is whether it is either wise or responsible to attack the problem by methods that are rapidly making it worse. The world has heard much of the triumphant war against disease through the control of insect vectors of infection, but it has heard little of the other side of the story—the defeats, the short-lived triumphs that now strongly support the alarming view that the insect enemy has been made actually stronger by our efforts. Even worse, we may have destroyed our very means of fighting …
What is the measure of this setback? The list of resistant species now includes practically all of the insect groups of medical importance … Malaria programs are threatened by resistance among mosquitoes …
Practical advice should be “Spray as little as you possibly can” rather than “Spray to the limit of your capacity” …, Pressure on the pest population should always be as slight as possible.

 

A free publication on IPM bug control.

 

 

 

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