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Types of Pests

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Rural Technology

In this lesson we are learning mainly about the pests belonging to animal kingdom. The others are already learnt in previous lesson as disease causing organisms. Pest: It is an organism that causes any type of damage to the crop plants.

1) Insect:

These are important and major pests. Insects have three pairs of legs, two pairs of wings, segmented body and characteristic compound eyes and antennae. Insects are tricky and cause damage in different ways viz. sucking sap from plants, biting plant parts, boring in to fruits, twigs and leaves, attacking roots, barks and blossoms etc. The damaging stages of different insect pests are larvae, adults and nymphs.

2) Mites:

These are creatures like insect but have soft body and four pairs of legs. These tiny creatures have red or pale yellow colour. They suck the sap from the plant and attack the crops in huge number.

3) Rodents -

This group of pest eat away large amount of human food and also damage the crops on large scale. They are also responsible for heavy loss to stored grains on farms, in warehouses and houses.

4) Animals:

Animals like Wild Boar, Deer, Elephants, Wild Buffalo, Jackals, Monkeys, Squirrels cause direct damage to crop plants. They eat away the plants and by and large they waste huge amount of crops.

5) Birds:

Birds attack the crop plants and eat grains. Crow, Parrots and Sparrows are major among birds that attack the crops.

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Methods of pest control

Pest causes lot of reduction in the yield and quality of crops. Broadly the measures of pest control are of two types, preventive and protective. Preventive measures are used before the attack of the pest and protective measures are used to control the pest after their attack. The methods of controlling pest are as follows.

A) Mechanical methods:

1) Picking of pests, larvae by hand and destroying them. 2) Remove the part or whole plant that is infested. 3) Use of traps. 4) Catch them with the help of net.

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B) Physical methods:

1) By heat: High temperature kills the pest. 2) Low temperature. 3) X-rays and gamma ray.

C) Cultural methods:

1) Crop rotation. 2) Deep ploughing. 3) Clean cultivation. 4) Proper use of fertilizers and water. 5) Growing pest resistant Varieties. 6) Timely or late sowing. 7) Proper harvesting

D) Chemical methods

This method is used on large scale for direct control of pests. In these methods, chemicals that kill the pest are used. These chemicals are called as pesticides/ Insecticides. The chemical method is effective and faster as compared to other methods but it is hazardous to environment. Improper use of these chemical leads to development of resistance among the pests causing heavy out break which leads to increase in cost of cultivation and heavy loss. Dusts, Wettable powders, Seed dressers, Emulsions and granules are the insecticides formulations.

E) Biological methods

Use of biological agents to control pests is called Bio-control. Ninety eight percent pests are controlled by nature. There are certain predators, parasites, birds, animals, micro-organisms that can be used for control of pests. Certain biological factors used to control the pests are : Tricogama, Crysopa, HNPV, LLNPV, Chilonus, Copidosoma, Bacillus thuringenesis.

F) Plant Quarantine measures

Control of distribution and spread of pest by laws, (Indian Quarantine Act 1925)

Integrated Pest Management

Owing to uncontrolled use a pesticides, the control of pest has not remained as effective as earlier. This raises resistance of pests against chemicals; increases cost of cultivation, increase residues in the produce, etc. The environmental imbalance is another effect of such methods so it is the necessity of the time to use IPM. IPM- Use of cultural, physical, mechanical, biological, environmental and legal methods collectively to control pest is called as IPM. It also uses biological extracts, traps, repellents etc. for pest control.

Intext questions

Fill in the blanks 1) Insects have type of body. 2) Mites have legs. 3) is an organism that causes any type of damage to the crop plants. 4) The chemicals used to kill the insect pest are called as . 5) Tricogama is used to control insect pests in method.


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