We all know that any time that you plant things, you are going to have to contend with pests. Sometimes these pests are an animal, sometimes they are an annoying neighbor, but most of the time they are agricultural pests aka an insect of some sort. What we are going to do in this article is take a look at the most common agricultural pests so that you can identify what is tormenting you and find the agricultural pesticides that will give you the best results.
- Locusts tend to come in swarms. They often pass through agricultural land. These tiny little things can do major damage in just a matter of a couple of hours. They tend to eat the leaves off of everything. Locusts are not a new problem, and they are common in areas where leafy greens are grown.
- Japanese Beatles were introduced in the early 1900s. And they very quickly became a problem for farmers. They overrun an area and eat all the good bugs that benefit our crops. And since they have no natural predators, if you have these in your garden, it is up to you to get rid of them.
- True Bugs are the most common of all the agricultural pests. The term encompasses all bugs from aphids to whiteflies. They eat the plant by getting to its core and sucking out its sap. A lot of bugs are tiny and hard to see, but the damage is obvious because they can destroy an entire field in just a few days.
- Corn Rootworms are difficult to manage. They devour the corn leaving you with no yield. And, unfortunately, getting to them without killing the plant can be hard. Because the way that they reproduce in the soil means that they are ready to go once the next year’s crops come around
- Colorado Potato Bugs are known for how fast they can eat a potato crop. They also feast on eggplants and tomatoes. These bugs eat the whole plant from the stalk up, they will even eat the fruit. And you can have a full field of them overnight.
Pest Versus Parasite
If you are having trouble with your plants, you first need to decide if the trouble is due to pests or parasites. A parasite is kind of like a sickness for the plant. And if your plants are infested by parasites you might notice that your plant is mostly intact but is simply not thriving. So if you have the issues listed below your plants probably have parasites rather than pests:
- The skin on the plant is yellow;
- The leaves have spots;
- The stalk sags or doesn’t stand upright;
- The fruit seems to be rotting even though it isn’t ripe.
But if you know that your plants are tormented by pests, then it is time to take a look at the most common agricultural pest control methods.
The history of Pesticides
The end of World War II saw a rise in hunger due to the shortage of food. Pesticides were designed so that food could be raised at a larger quantity, stored longer, and distributed further. Yet little was known about the damage it could and would do to humans. Because at first, pesticides weren’t monitored as closely as they are now thanks to the fact that they weren’t considered harmful or dangerous and there was a huge need for them. They were seen as a necessity. And to an extent, they still are, which is why we should look at the most common substances that are used to get rid of agricultural pests.
The Types of Pesticides
And to an extent, they still are, which is why we should look at some of the most common substances that are used to get rid of agricultural pests.
Insecticides that work on insects
How to apply: Insecticides come in several types. You can get them in a spray bottle form that you will apply directly to the plants. Granules are sprinkled around the plants or added to the soil. While concentrates are mixed with water and then applied to the crops. And solid pesticides are placed as bait.
How it works: Insecticides mainly work in one of three ways:
- Pests will eat the poison and die;
- Pests will walk over the insecticide, absorb it through their skin, and then the Insecticide will dehydrate them, and they will die;
- Pests will breathe in the insecticide and then die.
When dealing with a colony (like ants) the most effective insecticide will be the oral kind. This is because ants and other similar pests will take the insecticide to their nest, feed it to others, and then all of the colony will be die off. Choose the type of insecticide you want to use based on what kind of insect you have.
Herbicides that work on plants
A pest plant is a crop that you did not plant. It is a weed. These pest plants either take the nutrients from the ground and your plants are left to nibble due to lack of nutrients, or they use your plants for food.
How to apply: There are two types of herbicides. The concentrated herbicide needs to be mixed with water and sprayed on the plants. The premixed one can be sprayed directly on the plants without having to dilute it with water.
How it works: Herbicides work by blocking the pest plant’s ability to get nutrients. They dehydrate the plant so that they dry up, and you can easily throw them away.
Bactericides work on bacteria that can grow on the plants
How it works: Bactericides are like antibiotics for plants. They help boost the plant’s systems so that the crop can rid itself of the bacteria.
How to apply: You will have to mix your bactericide with water and add it to the soil. It usually requires several applications and has to be applied several days to several weeks in a row for it to be efficient.
Since pesticides can cause harm to humans pesticides should never come in contact with your skin because they can leave painful sores on your skin. Foods that aren’t washed properly can also transfer pesticides and cause you to ingest them. This can lead to pesticide poisoning.
To solve this problem, biocides were invented and currently are a very good alternative to pesticides. They are pesticides that are made out of organic and biological ingredients. They are less harmful to humans and they have less impact on the environment as well.
They work similarly to conventional pesticides hence why usually they are just as effective. It is the price that is the reason why many people chose to buy pesticides instead of biocides. Biocides are often more expensive and not as readily available.
There is nothing more rewarding than growing your own food. And agricultural pests can quickly take that away from you. So we hope that this article will help you take care of your garden and rid your plants of unwanted agricultural pests.