Pest may cause damages to crops in the following ways:
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- Insect pest destroy field crops through their activities such as biting, chewing, boring and sucking
- They cause reduce in the viability (germinating capacity) of stored produce
- Heavy attack by insect pest may lead to total failure
- They reduce the market of crops especially fruits and vegetables
- Control of insect pest increase the cost of production
- Some insect pest act as vectors of plant diseases.
- Insects’ pests reduce the yield (quantity) and quality of crops either in the field store.
PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF INSECT PESTS
Generally, insect pests can be effectively controlled through the following measure.
- Cultural control
- Physical control
- Chemical control
- Biological control
This involves the use of good cultural practices in order to reduce or destroy insect population and to help crops escape insect attack. These cultural practices include:
- Crop rotation
- Early planting
- Adequate and regular
- Planting resistant
- Timely harvesting
This involves the physical removal of insect pest from the farm. The following insect pest on the farm though: (i) Hand Picking (ii) Air tight storage
This involves the introduction of the natural enemies of the insect pest. The pest enemies are introduced to feed on the insect pest thereby reducing the population of the pest. For instance ladybirds are introduced in an aphid infested farm to eat up the aphid.
This is the used of chemicals to protect crops from insect attack and if the attack is established they are used to kill the insect pests at various stages of their life cycles. Chemical control is the most effective method of controlling insect pest and chemical used for insect control include:
- Insecticide: These are chemical specifically used for controlling insect pests. They may be applied in the form of solid such as dusts or in the form of emulsion or sprays. Examples include Gammalin 20, Vector, Aldrin dust and so on.
- Fumigants: These are insecticides which are in the form of vapour. They are usually enclosed in air tight containers. Examples include hydrogen cyanide, methy bromide and ethylene.
Quarantine is a period of isolation and observation imposed by law in imported materials include seeds, plants and animals. The materials are kept long enough to observe them for nay disease symptoms. If symptoms are detected, the materials are either destroyed or exported to the country where it was purchased at the expense of the importer.