Thursday 28th October 2021

The little publicized but highly effective pest control approaches explored

September 23, 2021 by Lewis Carroll
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When most of us hear the term pest control, what immediately comes to mind is the image of someone with a sprayer on their back, or a small plane flying over a large farm, trying to fight pests. In both cases, of course, it is the chemicals that are sprayed that will eventually kill the pests in question. In other words, for most of us, pest control has equated to the use of chemicals. Perhaps this is something caused by the information campaigns carried out by the manufacturers of the various chemical products for pest control. Perhaps it has something to do with what we learn, regarding pest control, from our educational systems. But whatever their origin, the end result is something of a hype: where chemicals come to be seen as the only solutions to the pest problem. Whether punaise de lit  the pests you are concerned about are cockroaches in your kitchen, rats in your warehouse, bed bugs in your bedroom, or aphids in your garden, the solution is simply to get the right chemical, and they will soon be history; they tell you.
Now there is no denying that the chemical approach to pest control is highly effective – sometimes with a 100% success rate. Nor can it be denied that it is highly efficient. And it cannot be denied that, in some cases, it may be the only viable pest control mechanism: such as when the pest infestation problem is very large, or when the problem is relatively modest, but the area in which it is necessary pest control. Too big. However, we must not get boxed in to equate pest control with the use of chemicals. Pest control is possible even without the use of chemicals in many cases. This is lovely information in a situation where some of the chemicals used in pest control are not good for our environment. It turns out that there are many other little publicized, but highly effective, pest control methods that (where appropriate) can be used in place of chemicals.
One of the simplest yet highly effective pest control approaches is to simply eliminate breeding sites for pests. Most pests do not invade en masse, but instead enter a couple (or something like that) and then reproduce to end up with very troublesome swarms that can only be eradicated chemically. If breeding grounds can be identified early enough and destroyed, the pest problem would have been nipped in the bud and the need for chemical intervention would never have arisen. Another simple, but often overlooked approach to pest control is trapping (as when the pests in question are things like rats). However, it is not necessary to use chemicals to combat these types of pests, when they could be combated just as easily, and probably more effectively, by traps.
For more troublesome insect pests like aphids, one of the least talked about but highly effective pest control approaches is known as biological control. What happens here is that other organisms that can feed on the pests of concern (let’s say aphids in this case) make their way into the field where the pests are causing problems. The end result is a feast by the predators thus introduced and the complete elimination by the pests that are controlled.
Destroying plants that have been infected (in the case of plant pests we are analyzing) can often also produce remarkable results in terms of preventive pest control. The same goes for approaches like burning fields after harvest; during which pests that might have started to develop are burned and thus their cycles are broken.