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.
_______________________________________________________________________ _ (end quote)
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)