10 Organic Pest Control Methods: What Works?
Biological pest controlling methods, also known as organic pest control, are ways to control pests or insects which are more like predators or pathogens for the garden or home plants. The natural pest predators are also called as biological control agents. These belong to the family of predators, but other creatures like pathogens or parasites belong to the same category. The most simple and standard natural processes for pest control are known as predation or herbivory.
Pest controlling is a sensitive job as it might leave a footprint on Earth, which also affects different insects and their biodiversity. If the methods are not executed properly, it may endanger or exterminate the pest species.
Types of Organic Pest Control
There are three main types of organic pest control which are used currently and are quite useful. Please read the following information carefully to know more about them.
Biologists and pest control experts are working with one another to start a proper importation.
This process establishes a new type of animal or plant species that do not belong to the habitat.
- This introduced species feed on the pest heavily as its food source. So, we can say that when the number of pests decreases, the number of imported species will sustain without going out of control.
The main difference between augmentation and importation methods for it is that development is widely used for natural threats of the pests that are already living in that infested area.
In augmentation, the control agents’ number gets boosted by the people who release them manually after regular time intervals. It leads to faster breeding of the agents and reaches big in numbers destroying the target pest.
The conservation method provides better conditions for the agents which are already present in the habitat and user for the extermination of the target pests. Humans can artificially create these types of conditions to the pests’ enemies can live, breed and survive in a better environment.
When conservation is adequately done, the need for chemical pesticides and insecticides decreases. It leaves nature with better air quality and less toxicity.
Animals Used for this Organic Method
These creatures are harmless, and their larvae are harmful to the pests like greenfly, mites, aphids, caterpillars, etc.
Green lacewings are used as an organic method for various insects and mites, especially in farms and gardens.
These insects hunt on mosquitoes and can kill them even if the pest is in water or the air.
- Ground Beetle
The beetles create tunnels underground which can be used later for hunting their prey, like asparagus beetles, corn earworms, cabbage worms, etc.
- Braconid Wasps
Braconid Wasps feed on greenflies and use cabbage white caterpillar as the host for their larvae.
- Ichneumonid Wasps
This wasps’ species hunt caterpillars and moths which make an efficient biological control agent for pest control.
- Tachinid Fly
Their larvae are endoparasites, which are internal parasites. They use bodies of moths and butterflies as hosts.
- Chalcid Wasp
These wasps parasitize the larvae and the eggs of moths, whiteflies, greenflies, and other pests.
Advantages of Natural Pest Control
- Sustainability benefits like reduced groundwater toxicity, quality food, better soil fertility, clean air, reduced soil contamination, and food nutrients maintained.
- Precise targeting is another benefit of this pest control method. The organisms only kill the targeted pests without affecting another biodiversity.
- It eliminates the use of harmful pesticides as well as insecticides which provide another health benefit for the people who consume these eatables.
Agricultural Way to Practice This Pest Control Method
The use of disease-resistant seeds is one of the best preventive measures in this pest control method. Maintaining different plants and following various methods are all useful when it comes to eliminating the pests.
- Companion planting
Planting different crops in a specific area for pest controlling and other various uses. Marigolds are planted in between vegetables to make some insects are pest run away due to its smell.
- Trap cropping
Here, the pests are trapped by favoring something else in place of the plant we want to protect. To save the cabbages, farmers plant Nasturtium around them so that the caterpillars lay their eggs and feed on Nasturtium instead of cabbage.
- Crop rotation
It is the backbone of agriculture as planting plants in succession on the very land is helpful. Plant legumes in between or before planting vegetables or other crops to make the nutrients set inside the soil and enrich it. It is also a conventional pest control technique.
Mechanical for Natural Pest Control
This can also be done mechanically by manually removing the affected plants or crops. Installing birdbaths is another way to take care of insects as the birds will feed on them in the farm or garden. The birds also what their eggs or larvae which are laid on the affected plants. Installing traps like light traps or sticky paper for catching pests is also very effective. It brings down the number of pests down slowly.
Spraying water jets also helps in removing pests and should be followed regularly. The use of floating row covers as barriers for plants to get past the critical stages of their growth. Covering the crop or seedling in its early stages or even the entire time can also help from insect pollination. But make sure the plants get proper sunlight as well as rainwater.
We saw the various ways in which this technique can help save the environment as well as the crop quality. Following proper methods might lead to a finer yield at the end of the harvesting. If proper care is taken in gardens, the gardens will look fresh and healthy all the time.
There are various benefits of it ranging from health and environment to saving the biodiversity as well as the ecosystem. It is why, I believe, this is a must following method.O