Pest can be defined as any organism which feeds on and damages cultivated plants, attacks in the ﬁeld or in storage, causes a nuisance or transmits pathogenic organisms to plants, man or domestic animals and livestock.
A pest is any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal, or pathogenic agent injurious to plants or plant product and livestock. Pest are one enemies of farmer because they destroy plant and plant product on the field, during harvesting and even in storage. A whole farmland can be destroyed by pest if no control measures is taken.
The pest can be insect pests which are usually most destructive, they can be rodents e.g rats and mice. They can also be micro-organism and pathogen such as bacteria, fungi and virus, they can also be a plant usually parasitic plants and weeds.
Pest can be grouped into four basic groups. They are as follows:
Weeds: These are undesired plants that are competitive and injurious to the desired planted wanted plant. They deprived the desired plant of food, nutrients, space and water.
Invertebrates: Invertebrates pest are basically household pest that feed on crop produce at storage. They are mostly insects, nematodes, Snails and Slugs.
Vertebrates: Vertebrates pests include birds, mammals or reptiles that cause damage to agricultural crops. They have a significant effect on crop productivity if not controlled.
Disease Agents. These are pathogens or micro-organism pest, these types of pest effects can be extremely disastrous as most of the pathogen are diseases carriers. Examples are Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, Mycoplasmas, other microorganisms.
Measures of controlling pest.
There are different measures of controlling pest, it can be cultural which is most used controlled measure, it can be biological, physical and chemical is the most effective method of all.
Cultural method are the basic agricultural practices that help to reduce the pest population and economic effects on the farm. The agricultural practices include crop rotation, mixed cropping. These practices reduce the pest population as the pest of a particular crop maybe not pestiferous to another crop. These practices help to starve the pest which reduce their population and economic effect. In fact, crop rotation is one of the best the cultural practices that has helped to controlled pest.
Physical method includes handpicking the pest especially insect pest. Setting trap is another way of physical control, invertebrate pest rats and mice can be controlled by settting trap. Another example of physical control is shooting. Pest such as birds can be shot.
Biological control is the most ecologically friendly control measure of pest. One of the biological control measure is planting a resistant variety that can resist the pests, another is using predators that can feed on the pest. Parasitism can also be used to control weeds, plant diseases, mites and insects.
Chemical pest control involves the use of chemicals, either liquids, solid, pallet, fluid to reduce pest population and their economic effects on crop, both in the field, during processing and even in storage. Some of the chemicals used repellents, rodenticides, insecticide and pesticides.
Written by Ogooluwa Felix, a 400L FUTA intern. twitter: @OObakulujo