What are the side-effects of chemical pesticides?

The use of chemical pesticides within the greenhouseGrowers are increasingly using natural enemies to control pests in their crops. This responds to the ever-increasing consumer demand for organically grown products and reduces the risk of resistance to certain crop protection products. However, sometimes the use of chemical pesticides is necessary for correction. Many growers therefore opt for integrated pest management, which combines biological products and chemical pesticides. But not all the chemical pesticides can be combined with every natural enemy, because these products can have side-effects on biology.

Non-selective and selective products

There are many different types of chemical pesticides. Some of these are non-selective all-in killers; other products work selectively. The non-selective products do not only kill the pest, but also kill the natural enemies in the crop. Selective products, on the other hand, only kill the pest and are not harmful to the natural enemies in the crop. If, despite the use of biology, you still need to use chemical pesticides, then take the following points into account:
  • Selective pesticides have little or no negative effect on natural pest control and bumblebees. If possible, opt for a selective pesticide. 
  • If the use of selective pesticides is not possible, apply the product selective (e.g. pouring or dripping) and use a crop protection product with a short aftereffect. Our crop protection specialists can advise you on this. 
  • Unlike natural enemies, bumblebees can be temporarily taken out of the crop when chemical pesticides are used. Place the bumblebee hives in a room of 18 - 20 degrees Celsius for a maximum of 2 - 3 days (a longer period will cause a pollen shortage, which will have a negative effect on the bumblebee colony).
  • Before using chemical pesticides, also consider the amount of time a product will be harmful to the biology in the crop. Many products can have negative effects on natural enemies and/or bumblebees for a (long) period after application. The period during which a product is harmful is indicated on the label. If there is no information on the label, the after-effects are unknown.

Possible side effects of chemical pesticides

The use of chemical crop pesticides can be harmful to natural enemies. There is a chance that you will kill the biological crop protection immediately, or that the eggs or dolls will not hatch, so that the biological crop protection will no longer have any effect. In addition, you should also take the indirect side effects into account, such as reduced egg laying. The rule for the use of chemical pesticides therefore also applies: an increased or repeated use of chemical pesticides can lead to greater side effects.

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Insight into the side-effects of chemical pesticides

It is important that you have insight into the side-effects of chemical pesticides before applying it to your crop. But how do you know what kind of product you are dealing with and what the possible side-effects of this product are? This information can be found on the label of the product, but you can also easily find this information via the Agrobío Effects app. With the app you can search by active ingredient, trade name, crop or product type, after which you will see the side-effects of the product.
Agrobío Effects app download for chemical pesticides

Questions about side-effects of chemical pesticides
Do you have questions about the side-effects of chemical pesticides, or would you like to get advice? Then contact one of our crop protection specialists, or ask your question using the form below. We'll respond within 24 hours on working days.

Jan-PaulAbout Jan-Paul de Wit

Jan-Paul de Wit is specialist in Integrated Pest Management. He helps and advices growers on how to improve their crops and how to fight diseases, viruses and pests. He advises on the best products to use so that they optimally match the objectives of the grower, as well as the crop, greenhouse and environment.

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