The Safer Alternative to Pesticides

by Aiden and Zacchary

When you type the word "pesticides" into the search bar, the some of the first things that come up are "the negative effects of" and "petitions to ban" pages. What if we told you that there was a safer, cheaper alternative that requires less effort? It may be hard to believe, but it is now a reality thanks to our new product!


Why you should switch

When pesticides are applied to a farm, the farm workers are not able to enter the sprayed area for sometimes a week or more afterwards. Pesticides have been proven to cause many forms of cancer and often not only the targeted bug but much of the surrounding creatures are affected. Many bugs grow an immunity to the pesticide after a year or two of use, meaning new ones must be found or more must be applied. When a child's mother is exposed to pesticides in a higher concentration, it is 6x more likely the child will have autism. There are many even worse effects pesticides can cause such as genetic damage in humans, shorter lifespan, etc. Our product is cheaper, but it also is a lot safer. Once a dispenser is hung in each acre and the dispensers are loaded up with the compound, they start work immediately spraying a small puff whenever a large amount of the targeted bug is nearby. The product is chemically safe and there is no danger in being in the orchard while it is active. Per year, our product only needs two tablespoons per dispenser!


Pesticides: Pesticides are a group of chemicals mixed together with the purpose of exterminating a certain species of pest that may be harming a certain type of crop, or plant. Pesticides are commonly sprayed on farmer's fields to prevent bugs or animals from destroying crops. These pesticides can do great damage to the environment, people, and animal's health and even our atmosphere. Pesticides are dangerous and should not be allowed for use on our food, luckily there are a wide variety of alternatives.

Introduction of Natural Predators: One alternative to pesticides is the introduction of predators. This introduces a species that is possibly harmful to the pests affecting the crops. This method may be effective, it also far more expensive, and arguably even more dangerous than the use of pesticides. The controversial solution of introducing foreign predators, can result in many consequences, including, overpopulation of the newly introduced species, death and endangerment of local species, and possible indirect threat to the crops themselves. Though this method may work, it is not only inefficient, but also dangerous.

Insect Pheromone Alternative: The system we use detects when a large of amount of the targeted insect is nearby, and sprays a small puff of our chemical formula into the air. The formula uses a chemical compound similar to that of insect pheromones specific to the targeted species, and because the compound is released into the air at a volume far greater than the regular amount females release, the males cannot find the females and therefore cannot procreate. Because of this, there are far fewer larvae to damage crops with minimal substance used.


Comparison

Cost/acre (canadian $) Decomposition Time Disposal Method
Conventional Pesticides $28.28 - $112.21 (per application) Too broad - 4-10+ days Must be washed/manually removed from container before disposal
Intro. of Natural Predators Hard to say - too broad, but far more expensive Once introduced, very hard to clean up/remove None
Pheromone Alternative $200.18 (per year) ~15 minutes Same as a normal household item

Physical and Chemical Properties

Pesticides Pheromone Alternative
Physical Properties
Appearance Amber coloured fog (colour varies, to an extent) Yellowish-translucent liquid
Odor Strange odor, dangerous to inhale Undisclosed
Density 4082.33 G/L Undisclosed
Chemical Properties
Water Solubility Soluble Undisclosed - presumed soluble
Boiling Point 100°C (212°F) Undisclosed
Freezing Point 0°C (32°F) Undisclosed
Evaporation Rate Not determined Undisclosed
pH (potential Hydrogen) 8.0 - 9.2 Undisclosed

*Since this is a fairly new product and corporations generally don't post detailed information about their products, much of the information is undisclosed.

The main reason our product is not used on a larger scale - as of yet - is because it is still a growing idea. The technology is new and it can be difficult to switch from something you have used for a long time. Give it a try - you won't be disappointed!


by Aiden and Zacchary


Created for a Grade 9 science project.