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The characteristics that such an insecticide would possess and the reasons why these are desirable

Introduction

Insecticides are used throughout the world to protect against unwanted damage by insects. An insecticide causes death or irreversible damage to the targeted insect by affecting it at any stage in its life-cycle. Insecticides have great importance in the agricultural industry as they can minimise the quantity of crops lost through insect damage, thus insecticide use can increase profits and productivity. There is a large spectrum of commercial insecticides now in use, all with different properties and characteristics (IPMRC, 2006).

Resistance has been a major obstacle with many insecticides and pesticides in use today. Insects have become resistant to many of the chemicals targeted towards them. If the insects develop resistance to the insecticidal agent then this may ultimately mean the agent can no longer be used. Alternative approaches may need to be considered and industry may need to take a different perspective with regard to insect control in the future (Ceccatti, 2004) (IPMCR, 2006).

Insecticides are toxic and it is almost impossible to target chemicals so specifically that only certain unwanted insects are affected. This means there will always be some destruction of desirable organisms. Insect specificity can be very hard to achieve, particularly when specific insect need to be targeted. This can pose problems when developing an insecticide as generally the compound will be toxic not only to insects but also other organisms. This means consideration must be given to any situation before applying insecticides (Sanborn 2002). There must always be a balance between crop destruction and the risk of harm to the environment. Any chemical put into the environment will have an effect on the overall ecosystem. It is therefore desirable to only use insecticides when it is absolutely necessary to limit crop destruction. This is a potential problem faced by chemical companies as the insecticide may be used less often. As new techniques for insecticidal control are introduced then this also affects the market potential for an insecticidal agent.

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