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What Eco-Friendly Pest Control Methods Are Out There?

It’s Earth Day today! It’s also the day that we look one year back and ask ourselves; what we’ve done to save our beautiful yet vulnerable planet? As advocate of eco-friendly pest control, Ridpest has always contemplated the environmental impact of various pest management solutions before integrating them into its services. There are numerous eco-friendly pest control strategies that help combat pests yet in the same time inflict little or no harm on the environment.

Eugenics control

Eugenics pest control involves dna-297576_640the reduction of pest population by manipulating the pest genetics to weaken its ability to reproduce and spread. This control strategy affects the accuracy under which pest species transfer their genetics from one generation to the next. There are two ways of performing eugenics control:

  1. Incorporating a new and potentially deleterious gene into the genetics of the pest population. Eventually, members of a pest species are will transform into biological time bombs that destroy other members of their own species.
  1. Weakening the reproductive or sterility of the pest population by exposing them to non-lethal levels of radiation from X-ray, gamma ray or other ionizing rays or by using special chemical agents, namely chemosterilants. Chemosterilants function in one of three ways by preventing sexual maturity, restraining the production of eggs or sperm, or by damaging the chromosomes (cells with damaged chromosomes cannot divide properly thus they can’t produce viable offspring).

Although the vulnerability of individual pest species to the above methods is different, proper doses of radiation or chemosterilants at an appropriate time can help induce sterility in the insects without triggering other unwanted side effects. Once the population of sterile individual rises, they spread their genetics materials by mating with normal insects but they produce no viable offspring, therefore causing decline in the population of the next generation.

 

Mechanical control

sword-fly-swatter-thumbTraditional as it sounds, mechanical pest control incorporate a wide variety of devices that entrap, entangle, exclude or electrocute harmful insects. These methods that include mosquito net, window screens and bug zapper are suitable for homeowners or gardeners for their practicality and ease of use.

For farmers, insect nettings are particularly useful to trap or keep away a large group of harmful insects that may include mosquitoes, aphids, flies, capsids and thrip. Another effective method used is covering the soil with cloth or special collars around the stem base of plants protect plants against them from larvae that eat roots or sub-soil stems.

 

Biological Control

Biological pest 2578779839_17bab41fc1_ocontrol harnesses living organisms, mainly predator insects or animals as pest control agents. These imperative species play a critical role of the ecological balance of every eco-system. Generally, bio-control insects or animals are released in large numbers to suppress existing or introduced pests. In other scenarios, careful conservation of the environment is important to prevent imbalance in the natural eco-system.

Animals or insects that have been (accidently) introduced to a certain place often turn into pests because they have escaped from their natural enemies in their native land.  Therefore, locating the natural enemies of these pests and importing them is one of the important measures in biological pest control.

 

Chemical control

fumigarpesticidaChemical control methods incorporate the use of several substances that can cause a fatal damage or disrupt developmental processes of major pests. Traditionally, pesticides have been the backbone of chemical control for many decades because of their effectiveness and inexpensiveness. However, the use of some of these compounds has its downsides. They have a long-lasting effect on the environment and sometimes their destructive effect extends far beyond the target organisms. Thus, necessity and law should dictate the usage level of some of these compounds.  After all, over-reliance on chemical control draws oppositions from all directions and eventually forcing the adoption of less toxic measures with fewer environmental impact.

 

Organic control

Organic pest imagescontrol is the use of pesticides that contain organic substances obtained from plants [http://caring.ridpest.com/study-examining-plant-based-insect-repellents-and-their-efficacy/] or animals. Pest repellent products containing plant-based ingredients have gained increasing popularity among consumers, because they are commonly perceived as safe when compared to the chemical repellents such as icaridin and DEET.  Unlike chemical control, organic control has no harm on the environment when carried out properly.

There are several examples of plant-based pest control solutions. They include:

  1. Citronella oil: extracted from to citronella plants are commonly used as ingredients of plant-based mosquito repellents.
  1. Neem: is widely advertised as a natural alternative to DEET, and it has been tested for repellency against range of arthropods of medical importance, with variable results.
  1. Essential oils: distilled from members of the culinary herbs and aromatic grasses are commonly used as insect repellents throughout the globe.

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Cultural Control

IMG_1616Cultural or ecological control is the intentional manipulation of the environment to make it less habitable for certain pest species. Cultural pest control is performed by changing the special distribution of host plants, making variations in the time of harvest, adding fertilizer or water to the environment or covering plants that have a major influence on the growth and survival of the pest populations.

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