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Ethical dilemmas: pest control

Posted by on September 27, 2012

Guest post from Eve Potter, a health writer with an interest in the ethical debates that modern biology produces. In advance of the panda debate she looks at an environmental issue which she finds exciting but scary: biocontrol

Biological pest control essentially refers to the use of natural enemies to control pests. Various predatory mites or insects are used to control pests, or infection with a fatal bacterial disease.

Biological controls are often an effective alternative to the use of pesticides in eradicating certain unwanted and potentially damaging pests. But despite of our recognition that pest control is an effective solution to eradicate unwanted vermin, human control of pests has not been void of ethical issues and criticisms.

The ethical concerns surrounding the human biological intervention of pest control was studied at the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre, Massey University, New Zealand. The authors of the study assert that the ethical consideration of the impact that pest control has on people, animals and the environment, needs to be considered:

“The necessity of intervention, whether it involves killing animals or not, must be properly evaluated. Justification for pest control is only tenable if all of the negative impacts (harms) on people, animals and the environment are minimised and all of the positive impacts (benefits) are maximised as far as can be feasibly achieved.”

While different people have different ideas about what constitutes a moral concern, one of the leading ethical issues involving the biological manipulation of pest control companies is the controversy of the types of chemicals that are used for terminating pests. Diazmon, for example, is one of the most common chemicals used in pest control yet can be toxic to wildlife having been described as an “acute and chronic health hazard.”

Despite nerves and fears about controlling and manipulating nature, whether it is or isn’t ethically correct, I can only feel anticipation and excitement about the future of biological manipulation.

Related to these dilemmas, it would be interesting to hear any thoughts about the following questions:

Is it ever right to cull animals (whether this is through biological or conventional pest control)? This includes situations such as the culling of badgers to the eradication of rats from islands where they threaten seabirds. Should we use chemicals which are damaging to wildlife if they can improve human health, by killing disease vectors for example?

We will be discussing lots of issues of conservation ethics during our debate on ‘do we need pandas – choosing which species to save?

Eve is a health writer who rarely shies away from ethical or religious debate. She writes on numerous topics for a variety of publications, such as the advancements in clinical management and providing healthcare for addicts.

9 Responses to Ethical dilemmas: pest control

  1. Pest Control Expert

    I’ve recently read that scientist are researching a new way of pest control – fungal treatment. They are testing how a certain type of fungus affects bed bugs and other pests.

  2. Termite Control Service

    Your article has brought us a lot of useful information . The article very vivid expression . The article also has a fresh point of view .

  3. pest control in perth

    I’m searching the web regarding pest control and I’m glad I’ve stumble upon your blog. The information is very good. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sara

    Commercial pest control is often local, and not a widespread problem, in my opinion. More serious, I think, is the introduction of non-native species to an area as a means of mass biological control. Its effects are both widespread and, in many cases, permanent.

  5. Dedetizadora

    Before hiring a dedetizadora and pest control is necessary to inquire about the care to be taken and seek to learn about the products used.

    I’d rather have to hire a professional pest control and dedetizadora to live with pests that transmit disease so.

    It is important to know that if taken all due care pest control is not dangerous.

    There’s more content on pest control and dedetizadora?

    thank you

  6. barker

    The Importance Of Using A Professional Pest Control Company

    Why you should use a professional pest control company.

    The problem with DIY products.

    A lot of people resort to using DIY pest control products when faced with an infestation of any pest. In this economic climate, people are trying to cut back on costs and think that DIY products are going to be more cost effective than hiring a professional pest control company. This is definitely not the case. With pest infestations, using pest control products bought at the store is only going to give you a false sense of security. These products cannot effectively eliminate the pests and keep them away the way that a professional pest control company can. In most instances, using DIY methods serve only to prolong the pest problem which results in more money being spent in the long run.

    The services offered by a professional pest control company.

    When you hire a professional pest control company you are assured that the right chemical will be used to treat your specific pest problem, that the right amount of the chemical is used and that overdosing of the chemical does not take place. The pest control technician is experienced and trained and will ensure that family members, office workers and even pets are not put in any danger whatsoever by the chemicals that are being used. A professional pest control company will treat the pest problem where it originates and not only the surface areas that are visible. This will lead to the effective elimination of the pest problem instead of a temporary fix.

    It is always best to treat the problem as soon as it becomes apparent. If you see a pest occasionally you may not think it is a big problem, however, the problem may be bigger than you imagined. Although you only see a few pests, there could be a large infestation of them out of sight where they are breeding and feeding. If you only treat the problem when you finally see the large number of pests, the infestation may already be at a serious level which will take some time, and a lot more money to resolve.

    The key to getting rid of pest infestations is hiring a pest control company that has been in business for a long time and that has a lot of experience treating a wide range of pests. Working with skilled professionals is the only way to get results quickly as well as results which are permanent.A professional pest control company is also privy to all the public health regulations and are therefore able to work within theseconstraints. A professional pest control company will deliver a great service that is effective, at a price that is affordable.

    Manchester Pest Control offers a great pest control service to the residents of manchester, Warrington,Manchester and Cheshire. They are able to treat all types of pests including ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, flies, wasps, mice, squirrels, moles, rats, rabbits and birds. If you are experiencing any type of pest problems be sure to give them a call. You will receive the best service at the best price when you use manchester Pest 0161 448 1782

  7. Pest control help

    Biologically control on pest control is good because there is always use a logic and science. Its also harmful for humans but not that much.

  8. Charlotte Black

    That’s why you need to do your research on a company and see what kind of chemicals they use and if they are pet and children safe.

  9. George Samuel

    Biological ways for pest controlling are quite harmless for families where pest controlling activities are performed. One should get the pest controlling done with biological ways near my point of view.