Replacing chemical pesticides with ants might take off in a big way

Ants can be used as a natural pesticide for a wide variety of crops

Pesticides have long been a matter of concern, due to the damaging effects they cause on nature and crops. Though they help a lot in pest control and saving crops from being destroyed by unwanted organisms and bugs, they are also seen to be the cause of reductions in pollinators and also the rise in pollution.

Besides, these pesticides contain harmful chemicals for human health, as they enter the human body through the food grown with the help of them.  These side effects are a bane, with healthcare professionals and civil rights activists voicing their concern.

The possibility of putting an end to the use of pesticides has finally been explored, and the move comes from researchers affiliated with a variety of institutions in Brazil, and colleagues from Spain and the US, suggesting with evidence that the replacement for chemical pesticides can come from nature itself.

Research finds ants could annihilate pests

And so, they found that ants can be used as a natural pesticide for a wide variety of crops. They have noted down their studies in a paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, and it explains the researchers’ analyses on how the possible use of natural pest control options by farmers could be effective.

It is a worrisome fact that the new age has ushered in a rage of chemical pesticides. Though farmers have found the use of these pesticides effective in warding off marauding pests and increase yields, it also has a negative side to it. Pesticides also proved to be killing pollinators, increasing pollution and impacting human health as the farm produce make their way into the human system.


Sustainable and cost-effective

This realisation, in fact, had prompted researchers to look for viable alternatives so that health of the consumers is not affected. They started looking into the possibility of using natural pesticides, and they zeroed in on the deployment of ants. These tiny living things were found to be leaving the crops alone and go about feeding on the pests that invade farm lands.

It needs to be noted that in olden times countries like China had actually deployed ant armies to keep pests out of fruit farms. The ants, when studied, were found as a better alternative to commercial pesticides. In addition, it has also been proven that use of ants as natural pesticides could pave the path for a sustainable as well as cost-effective way to healthy farming.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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