This section refers to the control of pests through synthetic biocidal products. Popularizing the directive 528/2012 of the European Union, ‘biocidal product’ means any substance with the intention of destroying, deterring, rendering harmless, preventing the action of, or otherwise exerting a controlling effect on, any pest by any means other than mere physical or mechanical action.
The composition of the active ingredient(s) of a biocidal product can be of natural or synthetic origin. In practice synthetic biocides are predominately used, whilst those containing natural active ingredients, although not at the same category, are presented here because of their similar mode of action.
Mode of action
For Birds & Snakes
Insects, Acari (Mites, Ticks) Scorpions, Centipedes, Spiders, Millipedes, etc.
Biocidal products that target arthropods (pesticides such as insecticides and acaricides) can be classed depending on their mode of action into:
Contact biocidal products (insecticides, acaricides)
Applied via aerosol spray droplets, powder or granular formulations, have an effect when they come into direct contact with insect or other arthropod cuticle (exoskeleton). Through this route they enter the body of these organisms.
Stomach biocidal products (insecticides, acaricides)
These are mainly applied as poisonous baits, directly consumed by insects (and other arthropods) that act upon ingestion. Some contact biocides may also act as stomach biocides when they enter the digestive system, via grooming (process of arthropod body cleaning).
Applied as gasses or vapours, they get in the system of insects or other arthropods via inhalation through the spiracles (small holes along the side of their bodies) causing acute toxicity.
More details on the subject are listed in the Fumigation section.
With the exception of fumigants, the majority of synthetic biocides, after use, leave behind a residue that will not break down over short periods of time and will thus be effective in controling arthropods for extended periods, often up to several months (depending on circumstances). This time is dependent on several parameters such us the formulation type (liquid, dust, etc.), the type of surface applied (smooth, porus, etc.), the weather conditions after application (sun, rain, etc. can lower the activity period) and more.
It has to be pointed out that biocides with natural active ingredients usually degrade faster. These are mainly used as insect repellents or where no prolonged residual action is desirable.
With Defon’s IPM system, chemical biocide formulations are handled in a safe and professional manner. The following are some important considerations before their use:
This selection is based on the following inter-related issues:
Relates to the biology of the targeted pests, their ethology, their resistence to certain active ingredients, etc.
Active Ingredient of biocidal formulations
The selection is based upon the mode of action and its effectiveness on target organisms. Another important parameter which is also taken into consideration is for the active ingredient’s minimum possible toxicity to non-target organisms.
Area of application
Characteristics such us temperature, humidity, pressure, accessibility, nature of materials and surfaces, etc, are assessed.
Selection based upon which serves the purpose best. Thus the choice varies between powders, baits, formulations used after dilution with water, fumigants, etc.
Prior to use: The entire contents of the label are checked before use of any formulation.
Doses and application points: Biocides are applied to the appropriate points with the correct dosage and not used indiscriminately anywhere. Special care is taken within food areas. If sublethal doses are used and/or isolated pest pockets are left undetected and left undisturbed, the attempt for control fails, which may increase the likelihood of pests developing resistance to the active ingredient used. Correspondingly, the thoughtless application of excessive doses (in relation to the proper ones) may lead to environmental hazards, whilst the possibility of resistance development in this case, also increases. Such inappropriate handling could also deter arthropods from approaching the treated area therefore not exposing them to a lethal dose.
Rotation of active ingredients: Active ingredients are regularly rotated for avoidance of resistance development.
Safety measures: Biocides are handled in the most appropriate and safe manner whilst the operators employ the most appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).