What Does Biological Pest Control Mean?Comments Off
Whether you own a small vegetable garden or a large field crop, one of your most hated enemies is the insects and the pests that make a meal out of your plants. Now, these insects and pests can easily be eliminated by chemical pest control methods, of course, but if you want to safeguard the health of your consumers, then the best thing that you can do is to go organic. This means fighting your enemies with organic pest control methods such as eco-friendly sprays. This also means using biological methods in controlling the insect and pest population.
Biological Pest Control Method
In a nutshell, a biological pest control method is simply controlling the population of insects and pests by using their natural enemies. These natural enemies are the predators and other beneficial organisms that prey on or kill the pests. Some of these include birds as well as mammals, and reptiles as well as beneficial insects.
Biological pest control has been proven to be an effective method in controlling the population of pests. However, it is important to note though that these natural predators and beneficial organisms are not there to eradicate the whole population of the pests. Instead, they only control the population and keep them at a very safe level. After all, if all the pests die and their population wiped out, then these natural predators and beneficial organisms will also disappear. If this happens, then farmers should watch out for a situation that has been coined as pest resurgence, which, simply put, means the rapid rebound of a treated pest due to the elimination of natural enemies. Pest resurgence is very common with chemical pest control methods.
Three Types of Natural Enemies
As mentioned earlier, some of the natural enemies of pests are birds, reptiles, mammals, insects, and other beneficial organisms. However, you should know that the biggest and most important group among all of them is the insects and beneficial organisms. Here are the three types of natural enemies:
- Predatory insects are usually bigger than the insects and pests that they prey on. Some of these include the ground beetles as well as the ladybeetles. This also includes the minute pirate bugs as well as the syrphid flies, and the lacewings as well as the rove beetle. Soldier beetles are also examples of predatory insects. These predators are very active and can easily locate their prey.
- Insect parasites or parasitoids are another type of natural enemies. Compared to predatory insects, they are tinier so it is very easy to overlook their presence. Some examples of insect parasites include parasitic wasps as well as tachinid flies. You also have the ichneumonid wasps as well as the braconid and chalcid wasps. The parasitic larvae of these insects live inside the body of its host and ultimately kill them as they feed on their host and complete their development into adult insects.
- The last type of natural enemies is the insect pathogens. Simply put, these are microorganisms that can cause fatal diseases in insect pests. The most common examples of this type of natural enemies are the Bacillus thuringensis and the entomogenous fungi. They have been commercially made available in the form of microbial insecticide that you mix in with diluents and sprayed on the plants.