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Collective term for various means of controlling harmful plants, animals and Microorganisms in agriculture. It results from "bios" (life) and "caedere" (kill) and replaced the formerly used term from pesticides in order to emphasize the all-encompassing threat to life. Applications are plants, materials and stock protection and pest control of health of humans, domestic animals and livestock. The individual groups are named for their effect on certain organisms from plants, animals or other sources. These are miticides (mites), algaecides (algae), Bactericidal (Bacteria), Fungicides (Fungi) Herbicides (Weeds), Insecticides (insect), molluscicides (snails, molluscs), nematicides (nematodes), rodenticides (rodents) and anti-virals (virus).
Besides the very well-placed, there are also combination biocides with a very broad spectrum of activity. Access to the organism via the respiratory tract, as a stomach poison on the stomach and intestines, as a contact poison in insects or in plants via the leaves and roots. The agents may be inorganic (arsenic, copper, sulfur, metal compounds), organic-plant origin (nicotine, pyrethrum, neem seed extract), chemically synthesized (DDT, hexa, lindane, Round-up) or even biotechnology (Bacillus thuringiensis preparations to be made). As the first synthetic chemical pesticides is the 1938/1939 NiroSan developed insecticide, which led to the banning of arsenic in wine. Usually they are sprayed using a solvent (water), sprayed or used as a dust or in solid form.
Under the Plant Protection include the use of synthetic chemical biocides to the conventional method. Such chemicals can (even at a controlled application) cause serious environmental damage, the benefits are long term by disruption of the ecosystem. This damage can be subtle, such as thinner, more fragile shells of bird eggs, orientation disturbances in fish, hormonal influence on sex determination to the extinction of a food chain link. The synthetic materials with respect to their effects in the ecosystem completely untested, the long-term effects are not predictable. Therefore, chemical agents in public opinion are increasingly come under fire negatively. In the Biodynamic viticulture and Organic Viticulture and Organic Fertilization .
Furthermore, one tries to reduce the use of biocides to the minimum or at best to refrain entirely. It is injected only when infestation pressure when the risk exceeds the damage threshold. Therefore reinforces biotechnological methods are used. These include, for example, the application of the disrupter (pheromone trap) and the use of biological enemies like Bacteria , Mushrooms , virus or protozoa (single-celled animals) that will help reduce the fungal infection and herbivory pests. Also Beneficial as Predatory mites chalcid and are promoted as natural enemies or artificially located. Other alternatives are so-called Defense of plants That increase the resistance of plants against pests and newly bred varieties with Resistance against, for example, mushrooms and other harmful influences. See also Bacillus thuringiensis and Vine enemies .