How to control pests and diseases? Biological vs. chemical: Pests and diseases can be controlled in a number of ways. Biological and chemical ways are the two most common and important ones, but they are very different from one another. This piece will talk about the history and ideas behind each method, as well as the ways they are different.
Chemicals for control
Pesticides are chemicals that are often used to get rid of diseases, bugs, and weeds. For chemical control to work, the substances used must be harmful to the pests. Plant protection products are chemical poisons that are used to keep plants safe from bugs, diseases, and weeds that grow too much. Of course, it’s important that the plant that needs to be protected doesn’t get sick from the chemicals used to protect it.
Protecting crops has been done for hundreds of years. People in China around 1200 BC killed bugs with lime and wood ash. The Romans used sulphur and bitumen, which is made from liquid oil. From the 1600s on, things like nicotine from tobacco were used. Later, copper, lead, and mercury were also used. Real chemical pesticides were first used after World War II. Today, there are hundreds of chemical pesticides that can be used in farming and gardening.
Depending on what they are usually used for, pesticides can be put into five main groups. The first group is made up of fungicides, which kill fungus. Then there are pesticides, which kill weeds.
These chemicals are taken up by the weed’s leaves or roots and kill it. There are insecticides, which do what their name says and kill dangerous insects, and acaricides, which keep plants safe from mites. Last but not least, there are nematicides that kill worms that hurt plants.
What are the pros and cons of artificial pesticides?
Chemical herbicides are widely used because they are effective, stable, and don’t cost much. Most chemical herbicides work quickly, which means they don’t do too much damage to crops.Chemical insecticides have a lot of problems, but a lot of people still buy and use them. Here, we’ll talk about four bad things about chemical insecticides.
It’s important to know that chemical poisons often hurt more than just the animals they were made to kill. There are two types of chemical pesticides: those that don’t target specific bugs and those that do. The most dangerous goods are the ones that don’t pick and choose which organisms to kill. These include both useful and harmless species.
Such as, there are pesticides that can kill both grasses and broad-leaf weeds. In other words, they are not selective because they kill almost all plants.Selective insecticides can only kill certain kinds of pests. They only kill the pest, sickness, or weed they are meant to kill; they don’t hurt other living things.
Like a weed killer that only gets rid of leafy weeds. Like on fields, this could be used because it doesn’t kill grass. Most products on the market today are selective, which means they only kill a small group of bugs. To get rid of a lot of pests, you usually need to use more than one product.
Another problem with chemical insecticides is that they can become resistant. Pesticides usually only work on one type of organism for a short time. An organism can build up a resistance to a chemical, which means that it can no longer harm it. These living things change and become stronger. To get rid of them, you will need to use other poisons.
A third problem is that things build up. Chems can move up the food chain if an organism eats sprayed plants and that organism is then eaten by another organism.
Animals at the top of the food chain, like humans or predators, are more likely to become toxic as pesticides build up in their bodies. It’s becoming less important for this effect to happen, though, because poisons need to break down faster so they don’t build up. These things can’t be sold if they don’t.
One of the problems with chemical herbicides is that they can build up, as shown here. When poisons build up in the bodies of animals or people at the bottom of a food chain, they are more likely to get sick or die. But this problem isn’t as big of a deal anymore since poisons that don’t break down fast enough aren’t allowed.
Finally, the last and most dangerous threat comes from the chemical residues that are left on the crops. Because residue can be eaten on things like fruits and veggies, crops shouldn’t be sprayed right before they are picked. However, pesticide residues could seep into the ground or dirt, and animals or plants could then drink or spray the contaminated water on their crops.
To sum up, there are several ways to reduce the damage that pesticides do to the environment: use selective pesticides (which don’t hurt helpful organisms too much); pick a pesticide that breaks down quickly; and be careful when spraying crops that the chemicals don’t get on other crops.
How to control pests and diseases? Biological vs. chemical
Controlling with biology
There are three different parts to biological controls:
- Small parts
- Bad microbes
- Biochemicals are
All three of these will be briefly talked about.
Biological control that uses parasites or natural enemies
Biological control isn’t just a trend. In the fourth century B.C., ants were used to get rid of pest insects in China. In South China today, ants are still used to get rid of pests in food stores and gardens. People didn’t figure out how helpful parasites are until much later. Toxic wasps (Encarsia formosa) are one type of parasite.
They live in or on a host during their egg, larva, and pupa stages. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first person to write about the difficult life cycle of these bugs in the early 1700s. But it would be a long time before anyone realised they might be useful for getting rid of pests. Erasmus Darwin, who was the father of Charles Darwin, wrote an article in 1800 about how parasites and predators can help fight against diseases and pests.
Biological control is based on the idea that pests can be kept in check by natural enemies or bugs. So, at first, natural enemies were brought in to get rid of the bugs. A small number of these native predators were released, but once they got used to the area, they worked well for a long time. One other name for this process is “inoculation.” It is called “inundation” when the native predator is brought back over and over again.
Predators and parasites are the two types of macrobial animals that are good for the environment. Parasites are living things that take advantage of other living things. For example, the larvae of parasite wasps live inside the larvae of whiteflies and eat them from the inside.
Predators are living things that only eat other living things for food, like ladybirds, which eat bugs.Phytoseiulus persimilis is often used to get rid of the red spider mite, Encarsia formosa gets rid of whiteflies, and Neioseiulus cucumeris gets rid of thrips.
Biological control using tiny living things such as microbes
A number of helpful microorganisms can also be used to protect plants from illnesses and pests and improve their health. These things can happen because bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms fight for food or space, make antibiotics, or just eat other microorganisms that are bad for you.
Plants can be kept healthy and strong with microbials, so they can also be used as a preventative measure. Pests and diseases don’t bother plants as much or don’t bother them at all when this happens. This way of getting rid of pests can’t be seen.
Trichoderma and Bacillus subtilis are two examples of microbials that are often used.A coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Bacillus subtilis, a microbe that is often used. Microbials, which are microorganisms that can be used for biological control, can keep plants healthy and get rid of diseases and pests. They can also be used to stop bad things from happening.
Biological control using biochemicals and materials that come from nature
Pests and diseases can be controlled with resources that come from nature, as well as macro- and microorganisms and scents. This group includes a lot of different things, like plant hormones, vitamins, and plant products. These also protect plants from harm and make them strong and healthy. Pests, like bugs, are lured into a trap with chemicals. Most of the time, gathering pheromones and sex pheromones are used.
What are the pros and cons of biological control?
Environmental control with chemicals and biological controls both have pros and cons. Along with a number of cons, we will now talk about three main pros. The natural enemy can become settled, which is the first benefit. This will have long-term effects. It’s also much less likely that pests will become resistant because they can’t get used to being eaten. Because it is very focused, natural pest control is a good way to get rid of certain pests.
One problem with biological control is that it might cause natural enemies to move away. This issue can be dealt with in greenhouses but not in open areas. It also takes time to spread out over a bigger area. The second reason is that pests are never completely wiped out because their natural enemies need to live, so they will never wipe out the whole population. Lastly, you can’t use them before the pest shows up, which means goods will be damaged.
Chewing bugs like this brightly coloured caterpillar might not be necessary in the future because biotechnological ways are quickly becoming better at getting rid of pests. Using this method, a crop is genetically modified to make it produce a poison that bugs don’t like or even kills them. Bt corn is an example of a plant that bugs can’t damage.
There are also some biological uses that are not completely safe. These are natural goods, but they may hurt more than just the organisms they are meant to kill. A crop may also be hurt by a natural enemy, especially if a lot of them are needed to get rid of a pest.Also, natural threats don’t have as much of an effect as chemical control.
If the biological way doesn’t work, then more chemical pesticides are needed because the pest has already spread a lot.Lastly, the only natural way to get rid of viruses is to get rid of the plants that have them.
Like chemical control, biological control is always getting better because new pests like bugs, fungus, and bacteria show up and existing ones change. Plant protection products, like pesticides, are made from chemicals that come from nature and kill living things. Like pesticides, these products must meet strict standards. Because of this, this group of “plant protection products” can also be pretty pricey.
How to control pests and diseases? Biological vs. chemical
A lot of people are against using chemical products to protect plants, but is this really possible? Do you think you would take an aspirin if you were sick?Thankfully, the days when birds would fall from the sky dead after eating sprayed insects are over. Pesticides can only be used on certain crops, according to strict rules. Rules say not only what goods can be used, but also how much can be used, when it can be used, and how it should be used.
Also, there are strict checks.It is now important to use less pesticide since bumble bees are being used to pollinate crops. “Careful consideration of all available pest control techniques and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are economically justified and reduce or minimise risks to human health and the environment” is what most growers do.
“Integrated Pest Management” focuses on growing a healthy crop while causing as little damage as possible to agro-ecosystems and encouraging natural ways to keep pests away.In both cases, the farmer should know how to keep the diseases and pests under control. First, he has to figure out what the pest is. After that, he needs to know how it grows and what damage it does. The next step is to find out if biological control is possible, if so, how to do it, how much to use, and what conditions it needs to work.
Or, another option is which poison to use, how to do it, and what rules must be followed. In recent years, people have become more interested in the idea of using biotechnological methods to get rid of bugs, along with chemical and biological methods. In that case, neither chemicals nor natural pests are used on the crop. Instead, the crop’s genes are changed so that it makes chemicals that insects don’t like or even find poisonous. As a result, the plants keep flies away.
Grocery stores and governments want biological controls to be used instead of chemical herbicides. In the end, though, this piece says that there aren’t any perfect answers. At times, it relies on the situation, the crop, the growers’ knowledge, the weather, and even the stage of development of the crop. There isn’t a right answer. The only things that exist are pros and cons. It is important to handle the method in the right way at all times.