Insect pests control is a very important practice that must be carried out to ensure the production of crops in its right quantity and quality. Pests are part of the obstacles farmers often face in crop production; weeds and insect pests are the most economical pest farmers deal with as the production progresses. There are different Insect pest control methods that can be deployed to control pests before their damage becomes economically important; agricultural insect pests and their control methods are relative. They are deployed based on the nature of the pest, the population of pests, the cost of control methods and other related factors. Identification of pest is a great prerequisite to effective pest control; for example, flying insect pest control measures are different from soil-borne insects. These are the nature of discussions this article wants to examine for the best practice of farmers.
Before you decide on the method of pest control to use in your farm, you need to first understand the development of insect pests and their mode of entry into your farm. these two concepts would aid you to understand and adopt the insect pests control methods to be discussed better.
Insect Pests Development And Control Methods
Reproduction of insect has to be mentioned because each stage of development has a major role it plays in the act of causing damage. Insects have two main forms of reproduction namely:
- Complete metamorphosis
- Incomplete metamorphosis.
Insects that possess complete metamorphosis have four stages of reproduction which are from the eggs to larvae to pupa and finally to adults, insects belonging to this category are butterflies, beetle, etc. The ones with the incomplete form of reproduction have just three stages of reproduction which are from the eggs to the nymph and finally, the adult, examples of insects with this form are grasshoppers, aphids, etc.
The fascinating fact is that some insects are destructive at their larval stage, like the armyworm, but beneficial at their adult stage examples are the butterfly and moth. In addition, some are destructive at both their larvae and adult stage example is the beetle. They suck the sap juice making the plant loose vigor and eat up the plant leaves, reducing the quality of the plant and the ability of the plant to manufacture their own food through photosynthesis.
Simple Insect Pests Control Methods and Strategies
The control of insect pests is not an occasional practice; it is a routine practice. I will share with you some practical tips that can make you reduce the population of insect pests and keep your crop in the desired quantity and quality.
These insect pest control methods are simple and easy to achieve but require you to be consistent and persistent about it. They are routine management practices that should be done regularly.
#1. Surveillance as an insect pest control strategy
Simply put close monitoring. Insect pests do not evade the farm overnight or in a large sum. The establishment of one insect gives room for others through reproduction. Take a close look at the picture below.
This is a snail eating up the vegetables; the snail is usually active during the coolest part of the day; at night or early in the morning. If you monitor your crops closely, you would control the pest by merely handpicking and crushing it. If not, this pest would continue to destroy our crops and you would not notice it. The use of pesticides from any insect pest control market across the globe may not be sufficient to control this pest because it comes up during the inactive period of the pesticides.
#2. Perimeter weeding as a pest control strategy
This form of weeding allows you to have a clean area of about 3 meters away from the boundaries of your farm. Weeds are hosts of most insect pests when there is little or no weed on your farm, there would be little or no insect infestation. Based on this strategy, you can adopt a perimeter weeding of 3 meters away from the boundaries of the crops; I mean weed your farm boundaries at 3 meters away from the first row of crops; this is more or less like a biological control of insect pests and weeds. It has been observed that insect pests find it difficult to cross through a bare floor or neatly weeded plot because it is not their usual route, hence, they stay within the bush leaving your crop healthy.
#3. Conventional land preparation method as a pest control strategy
One of the best ways to control insect pests is through land preparation. There are several methods of land preparation but one of pest control importance is the conventional land preparation method. Most insect eggs, larvae, and pupa originate from the soil; when the soil is adequately prepared using this land preparation method, you can eliminate the insect pests or reduce their population drastically. What the conventional land preparation method does is to expose the insect pest eggs, larvae, pupa, nymph to unfavorable conditions through the action of the plough and harrow on the soil.
#4. Application of Organic manure not waste also control pests
The use of organic manure is very good especially when you are planting a perennial crop like plantain, cashew or cocoa. However, it is not all manure that can be added. In fact, there is a difference between manure and waste. Manure is characterized by full decomposition but waste is fresh manure. Do not apply fresh manure to crops because they can host insect pest, well-decomposed manure is best for the nutrient supplement in soil. Decomposed manure is characterized by its deep dark color and loose particle. It is not marshy or wet.
#5. Crops Spacing as a pest control strategy
Spacing is the distance between crops; apart from giving optimum feeding area, good spacing helps to control insect pests as it prevents the rapid spread of insect pests. There are optimum spacing requirements for crops for good feeding from the soil, allowance for their metabolic activities, and protection. Use the best spacing for your crops and get the crops protected from rapid insect damage.
Insect pests control is a very important aspect of crop production; insects have the ability to reduce the quality and quantity of any crop, thereby reducing the farm profit and overall performance of the crop. The use of pesticides as a strategy to control insect pests should not always be the best option because as a farmer, you must be conscious of the environment and health of your consumers. I strongly believe these 5 insect pests control methods can effectively control and mitigate the effects of insect pests on farms.
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