Herbicides are chemical and organic compounds used for the control and eradication of weeds in gardens, lawns and crops. The use of herbicides is both praised and derided, as herbicides can cause large amounts of damage to wildlife and biodiversity in a sprayed area.
Herbicide can be used to control small outbreaks of weeds in a garden and larger outbreaks in a field or forest. There are several varieties of herbicides including growth regulators, amino acid synthesis inhibitors, seedling growth inhibitors (to kill weeds before they grow), photosynthesis inhibitors, pigment inhibitors and cell membrane disruptors,
Herbicide can be dangerous to the environment. Many herbicides are poisonous to wildlife and can poison humans if they leach out of the ground and into a local water supply, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several states have regulations prohibiting the use of herbicides within a certain radius of a body of water. Herbicides can also kill more varieties of plants within a spraying area than intended, causing a loss of biodiversity and potentially starving wildlife.
Herbicide can be applied in several ways. Spraying is the most common method, through the use of a hand held sprayer with a wand or through the use of mechanical equipment. Injection of herbicides is used to kill plants. Plant stumps can be brushed with herbicide to prevent a weed from growing back. Lances and axes that automatically release herbicide when hit into a solid object can be bought as well.
The improper or incautious use of herbicide can be dangerous to your health. When using herbicide, long clothes should be worn to prevent skin burn and accidental transferal of chemicals into the body. Respirator masks, safety glasses and work gloves should be worn as well.
Herbicide should be used according to federal, state and local guidelines. When using a herbicide, it is important to follow the instructions on the label. Also, disposing of herbicides must be done according to the guidelines set forth by local authority.