This snippet from The Gazette Telegraph, by Paula Davis;

Pesticides proved hazardous ally

Before World War II farmers and gardeners depended on Mother Nature to help them control crop-eating bugs. For instance, they used one kind of bug to prey on another.

DDT, developed in 1939 by a Swiss Chemist, was the first of the synthetic pesticides to go into widespread use. The military used it to control flies, fleas, lice and other carriers of disease during the war. After the war, the Department of Agriculture tested DDT as a way of controlling horn flies in a dairy barn outside Orlando, Fla. The experiment was so successful the agricultural use of DDT spread like fire. Pesticides were hailed as a miracle and put into production on a massive scale. Farmers used them to increase the yeild and improve the quality of their crops.

But the development of pesticides has become a two-edged sword. Since the war, more than 4 billion pounds of DDT have been used throughout the world, creating environmental and health hazards previously unheard of. Research is now focusing on the solutions of the past: Replacing toxic insecticides with bugs and substances by Mother Nature.

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For those who live on the outside of this particular debate I thought this short (oh so short) history might be of some instruction. DDT, and many other pesticides in use during the wars created incredible havoc on the environment in a short space of time. Pesticides now tend to fall into the short-term effectiveness range, and more and more farmers are using natural methods again.

I was somewhat startled to see Lady-bugs in 1,000 packs sold at my local garden center for all the world like a package of insect dust. They were neatly packaged, with instructions on the back of the cardboard. Heck, you could use these things without even getting any on your hands. (for the squeamish at heart)

Song Bird