Biological control of pests – Advantages and examples

Biological control of pests – Advantages and examples

Pests in the garden and indoor plants are more than just a nuisance. Insects often manage to inhibit the growth of the host plant and make it susceptible to other pathogens. And home remedies are not always successful. Biological pest control is by no means an invention of the laboratory. Respectful of the environment, this measure is based on the model of nature, specifically targeted organisms are applied, which have insects damaged more or less like eating.

The modern way of pest control

In the biological control of pests, other animals or viruses are used specifically against defective insects. The population of these pests should be decimated or even completely eliminated. The application itself can vary and almost always depends on the type of unwanted insects. The following options are known in the biological control of parasites:

pathogen

This method of pest control is hardly common among amateur gardeners. This is because targeted viruses are applied, which can damage the metabolism of defective insects and even lead to the degeneration of later generations. This method is used successfully, for example, on caterpillars of damaged butterflies. Against these the bacterium “Bacillus thuringiensis” is used successfully.

parasitoids

In this case, organisms develop into another creature, which eventually leads to the death of the host animal. A classic example of a parasitoid is, for example, parasitic wasps and nematodes. These infest the host in the most different stages of development and lay eggs.

robber

Parasites are almost always on the diet of other insects. Predators are targeted in the immediate vicinity, arranged to contain the infestation or to weaken the massif. Thanks to new scientific results, a biotechnological process has become part of the biological control of pests. Although rather unattractive to hobby gardeners, this pest control is gaining more and more importance among farmers and farmers. Known measures for this are, for example, genetically modified plants that form a natural resistance or even immunity to a particular species of insect.

Positive side effect of treatment

The application of biological pest control has numerous advantages. Therefore, the time required is extremely limited, even the continuous application of effective agents, such as the eliminated barley or garlic. Unlike specialty retailers’ chemicals, pests cannot develop any natural resistance to parasitic wasps and ladybugs. With this almost natural gardening you promote natural balance, without completely eliminating an insect species. Individual copies of aphids and companions still have the opportunity to get out of danger. Other positive aspects:

  • The effort is less than with the use of home remedies.
  • The costs between chemical and biological control are roughly the same.
  • No risk to the health of humans and pets.

Like chemistry, however, biological countermeasures should not be used without careful planning. If used incorrectly, the regional biotope may be damaged by the use of foreign organisms. Even with this type of pest control applies: less is more. Best example: you don’t need an army of 500 ladybugs to free a single plant from aphids.

Many plants are likely to attack only when the plants are young and tender. By using a phyiscal barrier for the youngest in your garden, you may be able to prevent unwanted pests from entering your garden.

Fences

Dogs, rabbits and other animals can be discouraged by installing a low fence that is firmly fixed at ground level. Larger garden pests, such as deer, may require a much higher fence, which can become quite expensive. To avoid this expensive trap, consider the alternative of surrounding these plants with individual fencing collars.

Line covers

These sheets of light fabric cover the plants without suffocating them and let the light pass. Commonly used in commercial nurseries to protect plants from light frosts, row coverings can also provide protection for plant crops from smaller animals and insects like caterpillars, birds, rabbits and squirrels. Headdresses are very useful when the plants are young; remove them as the plant stems harden and continue with other natural garden sprays, such as organic pesticides.

Cloches

Sometimes, you only have to protect a plant or a row of plants. A cloche is a temporary cover sized and shaped to fit a particular plant. For single plants, cut the bottom of a one-liter plastic milk jug and place it on the plant, a cheap and safe alternative to pesticides. For row crops, protect them with a tunnel-shaped cloche created with wire looms and striped fabric. The main danger with cloches is the accumulation of heat on sunny days. Make sure you remove or vent the cloches before they overheat your plants.

Cutworm collars

The Cutworms are nocturnal parasites that chew the stems of plants at ground level; they are particularly fond of young broccoli, cauliflower and their relatives. Cutworms and other pests forming collars 2 to 3 inches in diameter by large indices. Slip a collar on each transplant and push the collar an inch or so into the ground.

Netting

Sold as a bird net, this lightweight shirt is perfect for protecting berries and fruit trees from any annoying animals. Voila, a simple organic gardening method without the chemicals involved.

If everyone else fails …

Some gardeners use a homemade insecticide for plants, such as salt spray, mineral oil or garlic spray. Use these natural insecticides and organic pesticides to fight pests without causing harm to you or the plant. Remember to frequently reapply these natural garden pesticides, especially in rainy climates, and check if your organic spray is actually organic.

Various diseases and fungal infections can destroy a wide range of your precious garden plants. Leaves with dusty appearance or strange coloring are common signs of infection. The key to defeating diseases is prevention, mainly by choosing plants that are resistant to disease. If you’re not so lucky with this option, try these tips to make sure your plants thrive in bad conditions.

Give space to plants

Fungal infections need moisture to grow and spread. Well spaced plants do not dry more quickly after rain, giving the fungus more opportunities to develop and spread. Do not flatten the plants closer than recommended and spread them further apart in more humid climates.

Keep the leaves dry

To keep the leaves as dry as possible, avoid watering your eyebrows and applying too many natural garden pesticides, such as organic pest sprays. Instead, water around the base of the plants when possible. If you cultivate vine crops, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, support the plants on racks so that the leaves and crops are not in contact with the moist soil. Only use the recommended amount of organic pesticide sprays, otherwise you will have sad looking plants and crops.

Get rid of sick and dead plants

Check plants often for signs of problems. Sick or dead plant material must be removed from the garden to prevent the spread of the disease.

Rotate the crops

Some organisms that cause disease overwinter and multiply in the ground under a susceptible plant. The gardens are particularly at risk for this problem. To keep these diseases under control, change where one particular crop grows each year. For example, if you’ve grown tomatoes in the northeast corner this year, plant them in the northwestern corner next year. Crop rotation helps promote better soil fertility and is one of the best natural garden pesticides for prevention.

Test and keep your soil

Many plants (although not all) grown in poor soils or too acidic or alkaline soils will develop problems quickly. Your extensive local county service can cost-effectively test the grounds of your garden and recommend changes to resolve any shortcomings. Plan to regularly add organic matter to the soil to improve its structure and ability to retain water.

Effective control measures

Probably the most common way to kill damaged insects is the use of predatory living creatures. Especially the ladybirds have proven themselves. Already the children recognize the small beetles with the surprising coloring. But more important than the number of blackheads on pale yellow to dark red insect is the almost insatiable hunger of his little contemporaries. Already in the larval stage, the ladybird kills up to 450 aphids, while the adult cockroaches carry it over their life to well over 5000 copies. Unlike parasitic wasps, ladybirds are assigned to the “predators” category. The example of useful cockroaches shows, however, that biological pest control should not be used without consideration. After all, the “Asian ladybug”, used only a few years ago, it has become a real scourge and is moving native species. The common lacewing, often referred to as the “golden eye”, is also an ally not to be underestimated in the control of pests. Because of their enormous hunger, the larvae of webbed nymphs bear the epithet “aphid lions”.

Careless aphids are also on the menu of larvae such as thrips and mites. Between 100 and 150 parasites a day, the greedy offspring of lacewings can eat out. As with all other beneficiaries, you can buy flies eggs in specialty stores. Put them near the parasites, everything else is installed almost alone. it is also an ally not to be underestimated in pest control. Because of their enormous hunger, the larvae of webbed nymphs bear the epithet “aphid lions”. Careless aphids are also on the menu of larvae such as thrips and mites. Between 100 and 150 parasites a day, the greedy offspring of lacewings can eat out. As with all other beneficiaries, you can buy flies eggs in specialty stores.

Put them near the parasites, everything else is installed almost alone. it is also an ally not to be underestimated in pest control. Because of their enormous hunger, the larvae of webbed nymphs bear the epithet “aphid lions”. Careless aphids are also on the menu of larvae such as thrips and mites. Between 100 and 150 parasites a day, the greedy offspring of lacewings can eat out. As with all other beneficiaries, you can buy flies eggs in specialty stores. Put them near the parasites, everything else is installed almost alone. you can buy flies eggs in specialty stores. Put them near the parasites, everything else is installed almost alone. you can buy flies eggs in specialty stores. Put them near the parasites, everything else is installed almost alone.

Tip: Before using predatory insects, an existing population of ants must first be removed. Because otherwise, they are able to successfully defend “their” lice against other beetles and flies.

The usefulness of predatory mites should also not be forgotten. Because some species of arachnids belonging to insects are used specifically to control pests. Particularly suitable for crops, which are grown in the conservatory or greenhouse. With Typhlodromus pyri you can successfully fight, for example, the following defective insects:

  • mealybugs
  • thrips
  • mites
  • Kräuselmilben
  • smallpox mites
  • Springtails

Not everyone likes predatory mites, insects or even larvae of heirlooms and ladybugs on their balcony and house plants. However, nematodes have also proven themselves against thrips and awls. The nematodes penetrate the body of host animals and eat them from the inside. The nematodes themselves are visible only under the microscope. In this way it is possible, for example, to quickly release parasites such as tomatoes and zucchini from parasites in the summer. Nematodes are added directly to the substrate via irrigation water or “contact traps” are received, after which damaged insects are infected by nematodes.

Conclusion

With biological pest control, every gardener can make an important contribution to a healthy environment. In particular, the use of parasitic or predatory living insects is simple and does not leave chemical residues on useful and ornamental plants. In case of heavy infestations, it is worth buying eggs from Marienkäfer and Co. directly from specialist retailers. Another advantage of the treatment: against biological methods parasites cannot develop any resistance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
34 ⁄ 17 =