Pests environmental movement and became the foundation of

Pests have been
present and interfering with crops ever since humans first began cultivating
them and pest management has evolved along with agriculture and technology. The
earliest record of pesticide use dates back to 2,500 B.C. when the Sumerians
used sulfur dust on their grape crops. Other methods of combating pests such as
the use of natural enemies, timely crop planting, and soap were developed as
time went on. As technology advanced, the use of commercial sprayers was
developed to aid in the application of insecticides. Following it’s discovery
in the 1870s, DDT became the first synthetic pesticide used. During World War
II it’s application saved thousands from malaria and typhus. Due to this
success, many entomologists relied solely on pesticides and disregarded agro
ecosystems. Entomologists at this time were mainly concerned with a chemical’s
ability to kill insects and thus wanted a low cost but high performance
pesticide. However, insecticide resistance, DDT residues, and negative impacts
on the ecosystem became substantial issues over time. In 1962 the publication
of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” sparked the environmental movement and
became the foundation of the concept of Integrated Pest Management. Carson was
instrumental in bringing pesticide use concerns to the forefront of public
awareness as she pointed out the adverse impacts of DDT that resulted in its
ban from agricultural use in the United States.


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