What is a pest? A pest can be defined as an organism which is unwanted and/or harmful to humans. Pesticides are used to reduce pests and keep them away from crops. Because of the growing number of pests, more and more pesticides are being used everyday. Since crops are being grown all over the world, pesticides are being used all over. Insect pests have been eating and destroying the crops which forces farmers to use pesticides. From the increased use of pesticides, the environment is getting worse. Over 2.5 mllion tons of pesticides are used annually throughout the world. Pesticide use has jumped 50% since the last thirty years. However, more and more crops are lost to pests even though the toxicity is greater (organicegardeningguru). How does this make sense? THe chemical insecticides kill all insects and "pests" indiscriminately. Now that the good predator insects are killed, pests are able to reproduce and eat the crops. Less than 1% of the world's insects are considered pests. The other 99% play a pivotal role in our food chain and many are indispensable (organicegardeningguru). Moreoever, insects develop a resistance to the insecticides. Plenty of garden pests have immunity to many pesticides and cannot be get rid of. More than 500 species of pests have been recorded as resistant to the chemical insecticides (organicegardeningguru). A Cornell entomologist, Dr. David Pimental found out that pesticide use also indirectly costs the US * billion dollars a year. The pesticide is more of a problem than it was before. Many animals and good insects are being killed off by the toxins of pesticides. Humans are also getting sicknesses from ingesting remains of pesticides on fruits and vegetables. After a day of rain, pesticides also wash off from the plants and seep into the ground and drinking water. A few helpful tips from will help you decrease the damage done from pesticides: Before You Begin

Know thy enemy. Not all garden insects are pests. Do some research to correctly identify the insect. Also, get to know its' habits and life-cycle to properly select and time treatments.

Set thresholds. Determine a level of acceptable damage. How much are you willing to put up with before seeking some sort of control? Remember: Not all pests will cause significant damage.

Watch closely. When your observations have indicated that pest levels are high enough to cause significant damage, consider treatment.

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