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What are the principles of integrated pest management programmes?

Integrated pest management is a technique that blends chemical, biological and cultural techniques in a structured programme for dealing with pests. Chemicals are used carefully, so as not to be counterproductive by killing beneficial insects, which are selected to attack pest species. Cultural techniques, such as good hygiene and spraying, are a vital part of the process.

Three strategies

Three ways of pest removal Chemical techniques refer to pesticides which poison the pest. Sometimes they are known under specific names, such as molluscicides, for snails and slugs. Biological techniques are either predators found in the local environment, which are deliberately introduced to attack pests, such as nematodes, which attack eelworms in potatoes. Cultural controls refer to what is done by hand or machine, such as blasting aphids off plants with water jets. The problem of over-reliance The case of the glasshouse whitefly It was sprayed heavily, but the sprays left some flies that were resistant to spraying, which bred resistant offspring, causing the chemical sprays to be ineffective, The other controls have their limitations, so the principle is that you need to use all three methods. You do it in a well-thought out, planned way so that techniques are timed well and do not interfere with each other. The technique First, growers identify the pest. Then they try to eliminate it by cultural methods, but they may also call on the pests' natural predators. This can be done either by importing them from a breeder, or by encouraging wild predators. For example, if you have a slug problem, frogs, toads and ducks work very well. You might also use chemicals. Select these carefully so that they are not applied when the useful predators are present. So timing is very important. Careful calculation of dosage must be exercised as you do not want excess poison in the soil.

EXamples of controls

Cultural controls can include hoeing and digging. This is particularly important for pests that winter in underground cells, such as sawfly larvae, so this cultural control is timed for winter. Glasshouses clean up in winter, destroying any pests that they find. Grease bands placed round fruit trees prevent the female winter moth from ascending to lay her eggs in winter. Biological controls
These might include placing nesting boxs in orchards for blue tits, which eat various insect pests, such as codling moths. Encouraging hedgehogs by creating suitable wild habitats for them is an anti-slug technique, as is digging a small frog pond. Author's advice
Chemicals should be applied sparingly, when necessary and carefully timed and focused on a specific pest. Slug pellets poison the hedgehogs that eat slugs and so are counter-productive, so use organic pellets, which are non-toxic.

Same category articles Agriculture

A guide to getting a job in dairy farming

A guide to getting a job in dairy farming

Getting a job in dairy farming involves acquiring the right range of skills that you will need in the job. This can be done by attending certain college courses, and getting work experience. There are also several sources of job adverts, such as newspapers and websites that will attract the potential dairy worker. This article therefore provides a guide to getting a job in dairy farming.