One of the major factors of high economic importance in agriculture is the pest. Pest is any entity that disturbs or disrupts the normal growth of a plant or reduces the yield of the plant. Pests play a significant role in the yield and profit of any crop producing enterprise; pests are known to have deleterious effects on crop growth and yield.
There are different types of pest in agriculture so also there are different methods of pest control in agriculture. Considering the definition of a pest, examples of pests are; weed, insect and human activities. Weed and human activities, as pests, can be easily managed and kept at bay, unlike insects that are more virulent and obstinate in their attack. This article discusses the insect pests in details and how best to control them on your farm.There are different types of pest that affect the healthy growth of crops; in this article, they are grouped into 2. They are:
Micro pests are those pests that are relatively smaller in size and their physical presence are quite difficult to notice. Their effects or activities in a farm make their presence felt, examples are the armyworm, cutworm, aphids.
However, the macro pests are pests that are relatively larger in size and their physical presence can easily be detected even before their activity on a farm, a good example is the rodent and sometimes, humans. Considering the sizes of these pests, there are different types of pest control methods that can be used to curb their menace.
Types of pest control methods
There are 4 major methods of pest control in agriculture; these control methods are classified with respect to the size of the pest. They are:
- Physical methods of pest control
- Chemical methods of pest control
- Cultural methods of pest control
- Biological methods of pest control
Now, let’s see how these pest control methods are used.
1. Physical methods of pest control
This is one of the natural methods of pest control; it is a non-chemical pest control method. It involves physical detection of the pest presence and using different ways to evacuate them from the farm. This method of pest control is mostly used for macro pests like rodents.
It involves the use of traps, hunting, security men, alarms and caricature and other scary and combative techniques to get rid of these pests. Using any of these methods causes no harm to the crop and its consumer; this method is very effective in controlling macro pests like grasscutter, giant rat, rabbit, and other rodents. This method is less expensive and requires less labor.
|Physical pest control method
2. Chemical methods of pest control
This is the use of chemical substances, mostly suffocants, to get rid of pest from the farm. The chemicals are very poisonous and toxic compounds; they are commonly mixed with water at the recommended rate before spraying on the foliage or leaves of the plants on different days before harvesting.
This pest control method is commonly used to control micro pests like aphids, armyworm, thrips, etc.; the physical presence of these pests is difficult to detect but their destructive effects can be observed as they multiply. Their effects alarm the use of this control method and not their presence per se.
The chemicals used are called pesticides or insecticides. The disadvantages of chemical pest control method are: the chemical compounds can be retained in the crop, thereby impairing the health of the consumer; the cost of chemicals is high, hence, adding up to the cost of production; lastly, it is labor intensive.
|Chemical pest control method
3. Cultural methods of pest control
This is also among the natural methods of pest control. Cultural pest control methods involve the use of various methodologies or techniques aimed at providing an unfavorable condition for the pests.
A good example of this method is land preparation; other examples are weeding, seed treatment, etc.; this is one of the easiest methods of pest control in agriculture. It is cost effective and poses no threat to the health of both the consumer and the environment.
4. Biological methods of pest control
This is the most technical pest control method in agriculture; it involves the use of the natural enemy of the pest to prey them; like using chicken to control the population of grasshoppers and nematodes. It is also a combination of different methods of pest control to achieve a pest-free farm. It can also be called integrated pest management. it is technical and requires expertise.
To achieve a better yield in crop production, the farmer must devise effective methods of pest control. Irrespective of the cropping season, pests are ubiquitous. Although the pest cannot be totally eradicated from the farm, they can be kept or manage below economic damage level.
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