Agents within pesticides used in agriculture and forestry to kill, drive away or inhibit insects and their developmental stages (eggs, worms) for plant protection. The name is derived from the Latin terms "insecta" (insect) and "caedere" (to kill). Insecticides act as contact, feeding or respiratory poisons on the insects. Insects as pests in viticulture were already fought in antiquity because they were visible enemies of the vine, unlike microorganisms. In many biblical texts and wall paintings, plagues of locusts in Egypt in particular are reported. Greeks and Romans fought insects with sulphur mixed with oil and Pliny the Elder (23-79) writes about the use of arsenic. The same is reported by Marco Polo (1254-1324) of China. From the middle of the 18th century, salts of lead, iron and mercury were increasingly used.
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