Domestic Pests are organisms considered harmful or detrimental to humans, his possessions and other human interest or concerns (Pimental, 2002). Noxious organisms considered as pests are plants or animals that carry disease, cause disease or destroy crops. They could be nematodes, insects, viruses, bacteria, molluscus, rodents, herbs, shrubs, mites and annelids. Pest may also be referred to as organisms that destroy crops or man-made structures. In its broadest sense, a pest is a competitor of humanity. In agriculture, pests are detrimental to production because they cause reduction in yield and quality of output. They also act as vector of diseases and cause injuries to man and animals (Cotton et al., 2000; Gore and Schal, 2007).
As a prelude to other parts of this study, this chapter will discuss the background upon which this study was initiated, the statement of problems that led to this study, the Aim and Objectives of the study. Others are Significance of the study, Scope of work, Research hypothesis and questions, Limitations of the Study and Definition of technical terms.
1.2 Background of Study
Pesticides are one of the few lethal substances released deliberately into the environment to destroy living organisms (e.g., weeds (herbicides), insects (insecticides), fungus (fungicides), and rodents (rodenticides)). Although the term pesticide is often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, it is also applicable to herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances used to control pests' (Matthews, 2006). Pesticides are used in public health activities to control vector-borne diseases (e.g., malaria and dengue) and unwanted plants (e.g., grass and weeds) in ornamental landscaping, parks, and gardens. They are also useful in suppressing the proliferation of insects, pests, bacteria, fungi, and algae in electrical equipment, refrigerators, paint, carpets, paper, cardboard, and food packaging materials (Gilden et al., 2010).
Presently, a few environmental issues have aroused public concern due to the exposure to pesticides, especially with respect to children‘s health. Regardless of numerous published studies on the relationships between exposure to pesticides and human health, controversy always surrounds these associations. Because the randomized controlled trials on the health effects of potentially harmful chemicals was not possible to conduct and also, because of the difficulty in measuring exposure to pesticides and the limitations characteristic in observational studies, the effects of pesticides on human health is still unsure.
As FAO defined, pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest, including vectors of human or animal disease, unwanted species of plants or animals causing harm during or otherwise interfering with the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing of food, agricultural commodities, wood and wood products or animal feedstuffs, or substances which may be administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids or other pests in or on their bodies.
A pesticide may be a chemical substance, biological agent (such as a virus or bacterium), antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest. Currently, more than 800 pesticide active ingredients in a wide range of commercial products are registered for use in agriculture to meet food supply demands (Stoytcheva, 2011; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2002). The term includes substances intended for use as a plant growth regulator, defoliant, desiccant or agent for thinning fruit or preventing the premature fall of fruit, and substances applied to crops either before or after harvest to protect the commodity from deterioration during storage and transport.
Therefore, in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State where the research was carried out, the activities that was conducted is to know the Impact of Domestic Pest on Human Life.
1.3 Statement of Problems
Investigation revealed that as agricultural modernization progressed, the ecology-farming linkage was often broken as ecological principles were ignored and/or overridden. In fact, several agricultural scientists have arrived at a general consensus that modern agriculture confronts an environmental crisis. A growing number of people have become concerned about the long-term sustainability of existing food production systems. Evidence has accumulated showing that whereas the present capital- and technology-intensive farming systems have been extremely productive and competitive; they also bring a variety of economic, environmental and social problems.
1.4 Aim and Objectives of Study
The aim of the study is to scrutinize the Impact of Domestic Pest on Human Life using Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area in Ekiti State as a case study. In achieving this aim, the following specific objectives were laid out as follows:
- To investigate the effect of domestic pest on Human Life in the study area;
- To ascertain the various control methods used in controlling domestic pests in the study area;
- To ascertain the damage caused by domestic pests to materials in human dwelling places in the study area;
- To suggest possible solutions toward improving the production rate of crops in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government
1.5 Research Questions
The study came up with research questions so as to be able to ascertain the above stated objectives. The specific research questions for the study are stated below as follows:
- What is the effect of domestic pest on Human Life in the study area?
- Are there possible solutions toward improving the production rate of crops in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government?
- What is the various control methods used in controlling domestic pests in the study area?
- What is the damage caused by domestic pests to materials in human dwelling places in the study area?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
In order to pursue the objective of this study, the following generalized statements have been designed to guide and aids in obtaining the result for the experiment to be conducted. For this work, the null hypothesis will be represented with H0 while the alternative hypothesis will be represented with hypothesis H1.
- H0: Domestic pest does not affect human life by causing damages to domestic materials and crops in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government
- H1: Domestic pest affects human life by causing damages to domestic materials and crops in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government
1.7 Significance of Study
This study will be of immense benefit to researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.8 Scope of Study
The scope of the research is focused on the Impact of Domestic Pest on Human Life using Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area in Ekiti State as a case study.
1.9 Limitations of the Study
During the course of this study, many things militated against its completion, some of which are:
- Time Constraint: The time frame given to accomplish this project was very short due to school academic calendar and it was carried out under pressure which made the researcher not to implement some necessary features.
- Research material: availability of research material is a major setback to the scope of the study.
- Frequent power failure: This made the researcher append more money on fuel to ensure sustainable power.
- Financial Constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).