There are many preventive cares that we can perform in our plants to avoid the arrival of unexpected and bothersome pests of harmful insects, but despite the efforts, on many occasions, due to carelessness or time of bad temperatures, we can face them.
Its appearance depends on many factors, and although we can prevent its arrival, it is also important to know the most effective methods for its elimination.
The most commonly used control method for large pests is chemical control. Here you will learn everything you need to know about this method.
What is chemical pest control?
Pests in crops and gardens are insects and animals that form communities around our plants, and that do some kind of damage to them.
Therefore, when we talk about pest control, we mean using methods that keep them at bay or methods that end them.
The chemical control of plagues uses chemical substances, generally toxic or poisonous, to diminish the populations of these plagues or to end them radically. These products are known as pesticides or phytosanitary products.
Although today we can find these pesticides with the latest chemical innovations, this method has been used for centuries. It is known that some cultures, such as China, used lime and ash to destroy some organisms.
The Romans, meanwhile, used substances derived from crude oil, nicotine, copper, lead, and mercury.
Types of pesticides
When choosing a pesticide, we must keep in mind that the product does not harm the plant we are trying to protect, but the relevant insects, since otherwise, we will be getting the opposite effect to the desired one.
We can find several groups of pesticides :
- The fungicides, especially used for the removal of fungi.
- The herbicides used for weed removal, also known as weeds, which absorb the product from the roots and are poisoned.
- The insecticides are probably the best known, and we can also find them in supermarkets for the elimination of household pests. They are oriented to insect control, specifically.
- The nematicides, less known, are used to control nematode pests that attack plants.
- Finally, acaricides are used in plants that suffer from mite pests such as the red spider.
How to use it?
We must take into account different criteria when using insecticides or other pesticides.
These criteria are what product we should use, how we should use it, and, especially, when is the best time to use it. Here are some tips for proper handling.
- The type of pest we have great influences. In fact, the ideal would be for us to know the biological cycle of the pest, its stages, and what type of pesticide is most effective against them and which have developed a greater resistance.
- On the other hand, knowing the crop will help us prevent harmful reactions to plants in the presence of pesticides in their leaves and stems. Some pesticides can cause damage to the production or to the correct development of the plant, so any pesticide is not valid for all types of crops.
- The product we choose to perform chemical control is also very important to know. We should be able to answer the questions: what reactions can it cause in this plant? What stage or phase of the pest is best used? Can you decrease production? What does do I have to use? How does it act on the plant or pest?
- Nowadays, when plague crops are abundant, we can use some equipment to apply these pesticides as fumigators. Although this type of machine greatly facilitates the work, we must know its operation if we choose to use them.
- Do not forget, also, take into account the weather at the time of application, because each pesticide reacts in a way with factors such as rain, sun or moisture. Do not forget to check the effectiveness of the product in these cases.
These tips will help you control this method because, in addition to being effective, it does not have too many side effects.
Remember that improper applications can cause very serious damage such as burns, poisoning, or even cause the pest to develop resistance to the product.
What disadvantages does chemical control have?
The advantages are very clear: low cost, ease of application, and generally, efficiency. However, we also have to take into consideration a number of disadvantages that accompany the use of pesticides.
- The most important thing you have to know is that these products are toxic, and they are not only for insects or animals that we want to eliminate but also for those organisms that may be beneficial for the plant. Therefore, we recommend the use of selective pesticides that have a more restricted scope and focus on what you want to eliminate.
- On the other hand, as we have said, we can cause the insects in question to develop resistance to the chemical. Therefore, pesticides are usually only effective for a while.
- Pesticides also leave debris or residue on the ground, which is polluting the environment.
- Finally, we must not forget that these types of products are applied to the food that humans will finally consume.