Biological control of pests in the orchard

Biological pest control is an ecological and really effective option. Unlike other methods, it offers long-lasting results that are good for the environment.

Using chemicals for pest control has more disadvantages than advantages. First, they are very expensive and can be a significant out-of-pocket expense. Furthermore, these products can also be dangerous as they have the potential to contaminate our food and the environment, putting our health at risk.

What is Biological Pest Control?

In biological pest control, it is basically about releasing the natural enemies of certain species considered pests in crops to kill them. In this way we get rid of these undesirable insects without the need to use chemicals.

It turns out that in 1880 biological pest control began to be used by importing ladybugs from Australia to the United States. Who knew these little buggers would be used to fight the ribbed cochineal? It’s amazing how nature offers us effective and ecological solutions to protect our crops. The move was a complete success, with long-lasting results and incredible value for money, despite the initial investment. This has led to an increase in support for this type of pest control.

When it comes to biological pest control, three basic strategies stand out:

import

Import is the input of the organism to be used as biological control. While it may seem easy at first glance, doing this introduction in a proper and controlled manner requires in-depth knowledge and a well-planned strategy.

It’s not as simple as it sounds. Biological pest control is a method that requires the most knowledge and experience. It’s not something anyone can do without knowing what they’re doing. It is necessary to fully understand the behavior of pests and how beneficial organisms can help fight them naturally. It is a complex discipline, but very effective if applied correctly.

Increase

The increase implies actions for the natural enemies of the plague to multiply and reinforce its population. It’s a smart strategy to control the pest naturally. This technology can be applied to both indigenous and imported agents.

Although it was considered expensive, today its prices are more affordable, given the growing number of companies specializing in the release and inoculation of control agents.

Conservation

Finally, conservation entails implementing measures to maintain populations of natural enemies. It is a more difficult strategy to apply, as it requires in-depth knowledge of how the agroecosystem works.

It is a technique that we can easily apply in our vegetable garden with a little research. Basically, it is about increasing the biodiversity of our cultures, interspersing them with specific floral plants such as marigolds and marigolds and incorporating aromatic species.

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Advantages of biological pest control

The main advantages of biological pest control are:

  • With this solution, you can fight these pests without having to use insecticides or pesticides, which are dangerous and harmful to human health and the environment.
  • This method can leave a lasting effect in many cases, which is great because it gives the best long-term results.
  • In addition, its cost-benefit ratio is very good. While it may require a significant upfront investment, it proves to be the most cost-effective method of pest control in the long run.

Disadvantages of Biological Pest Control

Yes, of course there are disadvantages to this method. These are the main disadvantages of biological pest control:

  • As we already mentioned, the big disadvantage of this is that it requires a lot of planning, strategy and more advanced knowledge compared to other simpler methods.
  • Natural predators can be effective in pest control, but you need to be patient. Unlike pesticides, their time of action is slower, as they must first establish and multiply before they can kill the pest.
  • If pesticides are used in conjunction with other control methods, care must be taken. Sometimes pesticides intended to kill pests can also harm the biological agents that are helping to control them.

Examples of Biological Pest Control

biological control, pest control, beneficial insects, ladybugs, mealybugs, aphids, thrips, garden, orchard

In addition to what was mentioned above about ladybugs and ribbed mealybugs, these insects are also effective in controlling pests such as mealybugs, aphids and thrips. These are just two very simple examples of biological pest control.

the white fly

This insect, which usually attacks tomato, cucumber, bean, pepper and tobacco plantations, causes great damage to crops due to its rapid spread, which is usually accompanied by fungal attacks and viral infections. The most common agent to use in your combat is the fly. beautiful encarsia. This small parasite (approximately 1 mm) lays its eggs in the whitefly larvae, causing them to become parasites that continue to spread, thus killing the pest that consumes the plants.

thrips

Thrips, a well-known insect smaller than 3 mm in size, feed on nutrients from the leaves, stems, flowers and fruits of plants, causing tissue necrosis and death. It is fought with mites Neoseiulus barkeri It is Amblyseius cucumeriswhich feed on thrips larvae and thus kill the pest.

With information from: https://www.ecologiaverde.com/

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