What are the impacts of pesticides on fauna food chains?

Knowing that Organic production is beneficial to the farmer and the end user is only part of the story. Pesticides have a tremendous impact on fauna.

 Natural predators of pests include Birds, Frogs, Lizards, snakes, antechinus, and other insects. Not all insects are bad for our crops. Beneficial insects are those that prey on our problem insects.

Chemicals used to control insects are not discriminatory. If a chemical is applied to kill a pest then the predators of those pests are also killed as a by-product of the chemical application.  As a result the natural predators will consume insects that are affected by chemicals and in eating them they ingest the chemical. This can lead to death or mutations in predators, and not just in one beneficial predator.

Consider a skink that eats a grub that has been chemically killed. The skink is then consumed by a small bird, the small bird is then consumed by a small hawk. The poisoned grub has now impacted 3 other tiers of predator. It is not just Australian wildlife that is at risk. Your treasured Fido could also consume the lizard, bird or hawk.

When pesticides destroy beneficial insects in an area, the next time there is an outbreak of pests more chemicals are required than before due to the lack of predatory wildlife. Pesticides lead to the need for higher and higher applications of Pesticides.

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