What are Crop Pests

Pests belong to a broad spectrum of organisms including insects, mites, ticks (and other arthropods), mice, rats, and other rodents, slugs, snails, nematodes, cestodes (and other parasites), weeds, fungi, bacteria, viruses (and other pathogens).  They are organisms that damage or interfere with desirable plants in our fields and orchards, landscapes, or wild lands, or damage homes or other structures. Pests also include organisms that impact human or animal health. Hence, the more reason one has to keep the farm free of pests. It also therefore important to note that pest is diseases carriers. Therefore, one needs to take actions to keep pests from becoming a problem by growing a healthy crop that can withstand pest attacks and using disease-resistant plants

A pest can be 

  • Plant (weed),
  • Vertebrate (bird, rodent, or other mammal), *  Invertebrate (insect, tick, mite, or snail)
  • Nematode
  • Pathogen (bacteria, virus, or fungus)

The most effective, long-term way to manage pests is by using a combination of methods that work better together than separately.

 

 

 Approaches for managing pests are often grouped in the following categories.

 

Biological control 

This involves the use of natural enemies like

  • Predators
  • Parasites
  • pathogens, and
  • competitors—to control pests and their damage.

Cultural control 

These are practices that reduce pest establishment, reproduction, dispersal, and survival by rotation of crops, intercropping, changing irrigation practices etc.

Mechanical control 

Mechanical and physical controls kill a pest directly, block pests out, or make the environment unsuitable for it.

Traps for rodents are examples of mechanical control.

Physical control

  • Mulches for weed management
  • Sterilization of the soil for disease management
  • Use Barriers such as screens to keep birds or insects out.
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Chemical control 

  • It involves mainly the use of pesticides.

In Integrated Pest Management, pesticides are used only when needed and in combination with other approaches for more effective and long-term control. It usually involves the use of

  • most selective pesticide that will do the job.
  • safest pesticide for other organisms and for air, soil, and water quality
  • Use pesticides in bait stations rather than sprays
  • Spot-spray a few weeds instead of an entire area.

 

Pesticides are selected and applied in a way that minimizes their possible harm to people, non-target organisms, and the environment.

From the above we can really understand why other African countries could produce food to meet international standard with the lowest pesticide residue level or none at all.

We can also all agree with me that we have all been feeding on poisons from the farm.

Now we can correlates this with the skyrocketing increase in cancer and its related diseases in human.

I hope this really helps.

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