The good, bad, and ugly about pesticides

So far in my blogposts I have talked about pesticides as one entity. However, to get to the heart of why pesticides deserve more attention than what they currently receive, one must delve deep and look at aspects of individual pesticides to understand why they are good and also in what circumstances they can become bad, or even ugly.

This month, February 2018, is the inaugural annual National Pesticide Safety and Education month. Under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation Center for Integrated Pest Management, this initiative is dedicated to reinforcing core principals of safe pesticide use across the United States to raise awareness of the potential hazards of pesticides and to support Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs) conducted by land-grant universities. In addition to pesticide stewardship efforts by all stakeholders, PSEPs are important because they help keep users informed by staying current with changes in pests and pesticides. Clearly, Africa must create similar PSEPs as pesticide use escalates and knowledge lags behind.

Spraying herbicide

A farmer spraying herbicide on his crop. Only a portion gets to the intended target with the remainder reaches where not intended and can cause serious harm.  Picture courtesy of

Many an African farmer makes the decision to use a pesticide because he/she believes that only good things happen when you use a pesticide. That is not an informed choice and one that is likely to lead to bad or ugly things happening. So, as a service to Africans, let’s begin to talk about selected pesticides which are commonly used and why they are good, bad, and sometimes ugly.

For more information, please visit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s