On a New Pesticide

We’re familiar with the negative effects of such pesticides as DDT and 2,4-D, and the havoc such dangerous chemicals can have on people and the environment. In our efforts to increase crop yields, corporations employed chemists to create stronger and stronger pesticides to fight insects that literally ate people out of house and home. The need for stronger pesticides came as the pest themselves grew increasingly tolerant to the weaker chemical applications.

We still don’t know the long-term consequences of decades of the saturation of agricultural land with these pesticides. Besides the killing of other grasses and botanicals, pesticides can cause massive kill-offs of birds, rodents, and other wildlife. They can seep into the water table and the water cycle, dousing the human population with dangerous and harmful agents. Cancers, often lymphomas, and other illnesses result. Humans can inhale the molecules of these chemicals, and we are still learning of how they can affect the brain, our reproductive systems, and our natural resistances to other diseases.

The landlocked African nation of Lesotho has what they think may be a solution. Now, you’ve probably never heard of Lesotho, but it’s in extreme southern Africa, and it’s actually a kingdom. Most of the country is at high elevation. They farm grain crops in the valleys, and, in the past, they have suffered from infestations of various insects including beetles and grasshoppers as well as aphids, worms, and weevils. These swarms and some crop blights have caused famines and extreme hardship among the people over the centuries. The government tried using chemical pesticides and insecticides to fight these agricultural battles, but the nation decided that the negative effects of the chemicals outweighed the benefits.

So, turning to the scientists of the national university, the nation has turned to a new source of an effective insecticide. It’s one that came from a most unlikely source. And the efficacious rate is several times higher than any known chemical insecticide. When concentrated amounts of the substance was applied to plants as a spray, this natural repellent didn’t take long to have an impact on the insects that came in contact with it. In fact, the insects that had even the smallest interaction with this new application died within hours, not days or weeks. Studies show a 100% kill rate on such species as black aphids.

Most importantly, the naturally-occurring chemical is safe for humans. The crops are not affected negatively, and the surrounding environment remains healthy. What’s more, Lesotho feels strongly that using this new and natural insecticide could begin the long process of allowing nature to heal itself, to start a return to a safe and natural environment that can still produce high-yield crops to sustain a population.

Where does this natural chemical come from?

Why, it’s a yellow, sticky secretion that is highly toxic to most bugs and insects, and, ironically, it originates from the ducts of one of the most egregious and long-term offenders of agriculture.

The grasshopper.


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