People often search for answers on “how can you prevent pest from crop damage” to solve their pest problem. Generally, many people feel fulfilled whenever their crops grow beautifully, but various pests can ruin them.
Fortunately, people can follow four significant ways of preventing pests. These include controlling the biological, chemical, physical, and cultural factors.
This informative article will guide you to pest infestation’s causes and preventive measures. Continue reading to understand these better!
How Do Pests Damage Crops?
Oviposition, direct feeding, and plant-pathogen transmission are three of the most common ways pests can damage crops. Read the following to know more!
Insects and pests can perform oviposition, where they lay eggs into the plant tissues. Too much oviposition can kill a plant’s stems and branches.
Aside from that, it can also lead to misshapen fruits. Moreover, plants can also encounter abnormal growth.
2. Direct feeding
Pests can feed on plants’ stems, flowers, leaves, and roots. Accordingly, these parts can experience defoliation, skeletonizing, notches, and holes.
Furthermore, pests may also suck sap from plant tissues, leading to damage on leaves and leaf curling.
3. Plant pathogen transmission
Pests can also transmit plant diseases from one plant to another. These may include plant viruses such as bacteria, protozoa, fungi, nematodes, and mollicutes.
Here are three ways how these pathogens can transfer between plants.
- Active – The pest carries the pathogen in its body. The pathogen goes inside a plant once the pest feeds on an infected plant and moves into a healthy plant.
- Passive – This process includes a pest carrying a pathogen from one plant to another.
- Accidental – The pathogen finds an entrance to plant tissue by oviposition or feeding on wounds made by pests.
Knowing the types of pests can help you understand this topic better since crop damages can depend on the insect. Here is an article about 5 categories of pests in pest control to learn more.
How Can You Prevent These Pests From Crop Damage?
Listed below are four practical ways to prevent pests from crop damage.
1. Controlling biological factors
One way to eliminate harmful pests is by using biological control agents. You can use predators or parasites that can kill and reduce pest populations.
Using this method is more beneficial because it is natural and non-toxic. Examples of pests that you can use are mites, wasps, nematodes, and Encarsia Formosa.
2. Managing cultural factors
Cultural factors can disrupt the pest’s environment, thus preventing its spread and movement. This method can prevent them from having comfortable habitats that can encourage infestations.
Here are six ways you can manage these cultural factors.
- Crop location
It is advisable to plant your crops in a place with an excellent climate, topography, and soil. You can also put them in an area with the best air drainage to have low humidity.
Managing your crops’ location can lead to better plant growth. Moreover, it can also let your crop tolerate possible pest attacks.
- Crop rotation
Alternating your crops for each year is also an excellent idea to reduce weeds buildup, pests, and weeds. Furthermore, it can also increase soil fertility.
- Crop isolation
Providing your crops with distance is beneficial, significantly when pests cannot disperse to distant areas. It prevents the spread of these harmful insects from one infected plant to another.
- Damaged plants removal
To reduce damages, you will need to remove overwintering areas like damaged plants, cull piles, and alternate hosts. Additionally, it can also prevent the infestation from spreading farther.
- Planting schedule
It is better to adjust your planting schedule to avoid the period where there is a massive pest infestation. Moreover, fixing your irrigation schedules can bypass long periods of high relative humidity that encourage pests to grow and develop.
- Plant nutrition
You must also apply nutrients and healthy fertilizers to your crops to optimize their health. This method can allow your plant to have immunization or strength to stand against pest infestations.
3. Putting physical barriers
Physical barriers also help prevent pests and insects. You can do this method by putting nets on small fruits or screens in greenhouses.
This technique applies best to eliminating and preventing termites, rodents, and house flies.
4. Using chemicals
Using chemicals, such as pesticides, can annihilate unwanted pests in plants. It is sometimes quicker and more effective.
However, you will need to remember that you must only use pesticides for economic thresholds, monitoring and if there are signs of disease outbreaks. It is best to use this method during appropriate times only.
Aside from that, you must also select organic and safe pesticides. Ensure that it is effective, environment friendly, and not harmful.
You can read this article about what are the 3 methods of pest control to know about this topic!
Since you have already read this informative article, you will not need to search for answers on “how can you prevent pest from crop damage” anymore! You only need to note the stated methods above to save your precious crops from infestations.