[Market-farming] Pesticide resistance

Richard Robinson rrobinson at nasw.org
Mon Aug 25 09:53:19 EDT 2008

 On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 04:39:40 -0700 (PDT), Andrea wrote:
>> Hello,Can anyone help me with with the following. How does an insect or a
>> weed become resistant to a pesticide. What goes on in their system to creat
>> this resistancy?Also, I know that there's no virucide out there, or at
>> least used not to. Are there any known products out there now against plant
>> viruses?ThanksAndrea Weber

Development of resistance is a classic example of natural selection in action. Individual members of a pest species vary in their intrinsic resistance to the pesticide--for example, their ability to detoxify it, the thickness of their cuticles, etc. Those most susceptible die off quickest. If the treatment hasn't killed every last one of the pests, those remaining breed and their offspring inherit their intrinsic resistance.

One goal of organic gardening is to create very healthy plants, which are resistant to insect pests. Another goal is to maintain an ecosystem complex enough that a single pest cannot remain long at high numbers, as its enemies are legion.

That said, I discovered this morning that my rutabagas are history...

 Richard Robinson

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