British Cactus and Succulent Society

Highlands & Islands Branch

Chemical Control


We are all aware that the use of chemicals has fallen out of favour to a considerable extent since the rise of synthetic insecticides and fungicides. Most synthetic pesticides are very effective, but kill indiscriminantly, friend and foe alike. Although they may have short-term advantages, they cause long-term problems such as acquired immunity resulting in superbugs. Many pesticides are harmful to the environment and human health, and some are poisonous to animals.

However, there are several natural insecticides available such as pyrethrum and derris, and research is revealing more like these. Also, some insecticides such as pirimicarb seem to be more effective on aphids than on their predators. All this has left us with difficult choices - what are these choices?

The Royal Horticultural Society shows the way. They implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system of control. This involves a balanced use of natural control, biological control, and chemical control. The latter involves the selective use of certain chemicals in certain circumstances. They also pay serious attention to cultural details such applying remedies to affected plants only.

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