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LIVING WITH THE EARTH CHAPTER 6 THE TROUBLE WITH PESTS From the collection of John Edman, Fernald Hall, University of Mass. OBJECTIVES FOR THIS CHAPTER A student reading this chapter will be able to: o 1. Discuss and define the term pest. o 2. List, differentiate and classify the major arthropod pests to the Order level. o 3. Discuss and describe the general structure and development of insects and arthropod pests. o 4. List and describe the major arthropod and mammalian vectors of disease including kissing bugs, flies, mosquitoes, fleas, sucking lice, ticks, mites, rats, and mice. o 5. Describe and provide specific methods for rodent control. o 6. Discuss and describe the purpose and function of pesticides and the issues of ecological damage, pesticide resistance, and adverse health effects. o 7. List and describe the major classes of arthropod and rodent pesticides, their mechanism of toxicity, and some alternatives to chemical pesticides. INTRODUCTION The prospect of hunger and starvation is a powerful motivation in adjusting attitude towards what is food and what is a pest. WHAT ARE PESTS? Pests are unwanted plants and animals. Any living thing that negatively affects human interests. o Human Interests (1) a loss of resources such as agricultural crops, food and property damage, and damage to lawns and gardens; (2) agents of disease; and (3) sources of annoyance and discomfort.
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The most unwelcome pests from a public health perspective tend to include arthropods and rodents. o The arthropods (phylum Arthropoda) are invertebrate animals with jointed and paired appendages, a chitinous exoskeleton, and segmented bodies. It is the largest animal phylum with over 700,000 species ( Fig. 6-1 ) Insects, ticks and mites are involved in the majority of important human vector-borne diseases, and most of these diseases cannot be prevented by vaccines or chemotherapy. Early success in the control of insect vectors has been met with reversals as: o (1) insects have developed resistance to insecticides; o (2) insect control programs have been halted or underfunded; o (3) the use of less expensive pesticides such as DDT have been reduced because of environmental concerns and political pressures; o (4) the combination of poverty and overpopulation has lead to poor sanitation with greater opportunity for insect proliferation; o (5) destruction of forested areas has eliminated natural insect predators; and o (6) climate changes, including warming trends, has promoted increases in some insect populations. In order to develop workable biological, physical, or chemical controls, it is critical to understand the biology and mechanisms for the spread of disease by these organisms. INSECTS AND OTHER ARTHROPODS
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