METHODS OF PEST CONTROL
Crop pests can be prevented or controlled through the following methods:
Table of Contents
- Physical control
- Cultural control
- Biological control
- Chemical control
This method involves physically removing or excluding pests from the crop. It can include techniques such as handpicking pests, using traps or barriers, erecting fences or nets, and employing mechanical methods like plowing or mowing to disrupt pest life cycles.
This involves the physical removal of pests by:
- Hand picking of insects and larvae
- Setting traps to catch rodents
- Shooting rodents with gun
- Fencing round the farm with wire nets.
- Use of scarecrow.
Cultural control refers to agricultural practices that reduce pest populations or minimize their impact. Examples include crop rotation, which helps break pest life cycles and reduces pest buildup, and selecting pest-resistant crop varieties. Proper irrigation, fertilization, and maintaining optimal plant health can also enhance crop resilience to pests.
This method involves the use of farm practices to prevent or control pests, examples of cultural control are:
- Practicing crop rotation
- Use of pest resistant varieties of crops
- Appropriate tillage operations
- Burning crop residues
- Timely planting of crops
- Proper weeding or sanitation
- Timely harvesting
- Close season practices (no living plant is allowed for a certain period).
This involves the introduction of natural enemies of pests to control or keep the pests population under control. Such enemies eat up or feed on these pests, thereby reduce the population of the pests.
This method also involves using natural enemies of pests to control their populations. Predators, parasites, and pathogens that naturally attack pests can be introduced or conserved in the crop environment. For instance, ladybugs feed on aphids, and certain wasps lay their eggs inside caterpillars. This method promotes ecological balance and reduces the reliance on pesticides.
Chemical control involves the use of pesticides to kill or repel pests. Pesticides can be insecticides (targeting insects), herbicides (targeting weeds), fungicides (targeting fungal diseases), or rodenticides (targeting rodents). While chemical control can be effective, it is important to use pesticides judiciously and follow safety guidelines to minimize environmental and health risks.
Examples of chemicals used to control pests are:
- Insecticides – for controlling insect pest e.g. grasshopper
- Rodenticides – chemical control for rodents such as rats
- Avicides – for controlling bird pest
- Nematicides – chemical used to control nematodes. e.g. worms
It’s worth noting that integrated pest management (IPM) is a holistic approach that combines multiple control methods to effectively manage pests while minimizing environmental impact and promoting sustainable agriculture. IPM emphasizes the use of non-chemical methods whenever possible and reserves pesticide use as a last resort.
FORMS OR GROUPS OF INSECTICIDES
The four groups and the mode of action are:
|Group||Mode of action|
|3. Granules||Stomach (Ingestion)|
SIDE EFFECT OF THE VARIOUS PREVENTIVE AND CONTROL METHOD OF DISEASE AND PEST OF CROPS
Use of these control methods have their effect, these effects includes
- Death of some beneficial insect and soil organism, toxic exposure to animals and man, chemical residue in the environment, washing away of chemicals into aquatic life e.t.c when chemical control method is employed.
- Organisms introduced may attack cultivated crops or stored grains, predators might not feed on targeted pest and deviate to feeding on beneficial organisms, the activities of new organism might cause an ecosystem imbalance when biological control method is employed.
- When cultural control method is employed, the use of bush burning method might get out of hand thereby destroying soil structure, spread to other farms, loss of organic matter and lead to death of beneficial microbes.
- What are insecticides?
- List the three forms of insecticides and their mode of action
- What are avicides, rodenticide and nematicides are used to control
- List five economic importance of crop pests.