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Chemical free, environmental ways of pest control

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LI-COP Bi­opesti­cide. Bi­opesti­cides are cheap and do not leave any harm­ful residue in the soil, water or the air, elim­in­ates by killing only the tar­geted pests or mi­croor­gan­isms.  

For long farm­ers and farm pro­duce con­sumers alike have been shy­ing away from chem­ic­als that are used to fight pest and dis­eases that also harm crops and an­im­als. As farm­ers are already aware, over­use of these chem­ic­als for pest and dis­ease con­trol is to blame for the de­struc­tion of be­ne­fi­cial in­sects that con­trol pests nat­ur­ally with little harm to the en­vir­on­ment.

The use of In­teg­rated Pest Man­age­ment (IPM) strategies to con­trol pests and dis­eases has been found to be the most ef­fect­ive way to com­bat pest and best prac­tice in dis­ease man­age­ment. This is due to the many be­ne­fits to over­come in the use of syn­thetic pesti­cides.

By use of bi­opesti­cides and fun­gi­cides that pro­tect hu­mans, an­im­als and the en­vir­on­ment farm­ers have a lot to enjoy. Un­like chem­ic­als, bi­opesti­cides and fun­gi­cides which are cheap and do not leave any harm­ful residue in the soil, water or the air, elim­in­ates by killing only the tar­geted pests or mi­croor­gan­isms.

Bi­opesti­cides are made from or­ganic ma­ter­ial and are there­fore free of any syn­thetic sub­stances (chem­ical sub­stances). Bi­opesti­cides can be either from plant ori­gin or made from mi­crobes. All types of bi­opesti­cides kill one or sev­eral spe­cific tar­gets.

Bi­opesti­cides are friendly to non-tar­get or­gan­isms, they are spe­cific. Other chem­ical pesti­cides used at high dosage of high tox­icity will end up killing the pest and all other liv­ing or­gan­isms in the eco­sys­tem (en­vir­on­ment). However, bi­opesti­cides are very spe­cific and will only kill the tar­geted pest but cause no harm to the use­ful nat­ural en­emies, hu­mans, an­im­als and the en­vir­on­ment.

They are cheaper. Bi­opesti­cides are made from nat­ur­ally oc­cur­ring products which makes its pro­duc­tion cost cheaper. This trans­lates into lower prices of the fin­ished product as com­pared to syn­thetic pesti­cides.

They are safe – Bi­opesti­cides are not only en­vir­on­ment­ally-friendly but also safe for human and an­im­als. More people are be­com­ing health-con­scious and prefer or­gan­ic­ally pro­duced products.

Real IPM Products. The products come in vari­ous sizes or even sachets, mak­ing it con­veni­ent and cost-friendly even to small-scale farm­ers.

Dis­eases man­age­ment. There are a wide range of products avail­able in the mar­ket from vari­ous com­mer­cial com­pan­ies. These range from dif­fer­ent types of bio-pesti­cides to traps and coat­ing (such as fun­gi­cides used for seed dress­ing).

Ex­amples of Bio-pesti­cides in­clude Real Ba­cil­lus sub­tilis (bio-fun­gi­cide): This is pro­duced from a soil­borne bac­terium. It is a very ef­fect­ive product against powdery mil­dew and can be ap­plied as a fo­liar spray. It is avail­able in form of a fer­men­ted product and its re­com­men­ded ap­plic­a­tion rate is 1-2L/ha (½ litre – 1 litre per acre).

Real Tricho­derma (bio-nematicide and bio-fun­gi­cide): It is made from a fungus found in the soil known as Tricho­derma asper­el­lum. This fungus can grow on plant roots. Its ap­plic­a­tion mode can be in form of root ap­plic­a­tion or fo­liar spray. It has sev­eral be­ne­fits in­clud­ing; in­creas­ing the abil­ity of plants to com­pete with soil-borne dis­eases that af­fect roots by en­han­cing growth and branch­ing of roots, de­struc­tion of root nem­at­ode eggs, pro­tect­ing the plants from being at­tacked by Meloido­gyne spp as well as pro­mo­tion of res­ist­ance in plant.

The product is used for man­age­ment of root knot nem­at­odes and phytoph­thora. Its ap­plic­a­tion can be done by drench­ing at a rate of 200ml/ha (100ml per acre) if one uses the spores in ve­get­able oil for­mu­la­tion and 1kg/ha (½kg per acre) when using the gran­u­lar form.

Pest Man­age­ment can be done through the fol­low­ing meth­ods; Metar­hiz­ium an­iso­pliae. Real IPM (Kenya) has been work­ing in col­lab­or­a­tion with the In­ter­na­tional Centre of In­sect Physiology and Eco­logy (ICIPE) and has come up with products made from metar­hiz­ium in­clud­ing Metar­hiz­ium 69, Metar­hiz­ium 78 and Metar­hiz­ium 62.

Metar­hiz­ium is a nat­ur­ally – oc­cur­ring en­tomo-patho­genic fungi (a fungi that woks like a para­site) end­ing up killing the pest). Being a con­tact bio-pesti­cide, the ef­fic­acy of the product is af­fected by the amount of water used. When too much water is used, run-off water from the plant can­opy re­duces its ef­fect­ive­ness. Metar­hiz­ium spores ger­min­ate and col­on­ize the pest, killing it in 2 to 4 days.

Metar­hiz­ium is com­pat­ible with vari­ous fun­gi­cides and in­sect­icides. Ad­di­tion­ally, it is not harm­ful to nat­ural en­emies; be­ne­fi­cial para­sit­oids and pred­at­ors which is very im­port­ant in their con­ser­va­tion. They also have for­mu­la­tions for man­age­ment of fruit flies.

Real Metar­hiz­ium an­iso­pliae 69. It is for­mu­lated as pure fungal spores in ve­get­able oil. It is com­monly used in the man­age­ment of white­flies, mealy bugs, snout beetles and thrips. When soil ap­plic­a­tion is made, the sur­face of the soil below the crop should be covered. It is used at a rate of 200ml/ha (80ml per acre).

Real Metar­hiz­ium an­iso­pliae 62. It is meant for man­age­ment of aph­ids. However, for the con­trol of waxy aph­ids, a wet­ting agent should be added to the product to en­hance ad­he­sion of the product to the pests’ body. Its ap­plic­a­tion rate is 200ml/ha.

Achieve (Metar­hiz­ium 78). It is used in the man­age­ment of spider mites (Tetra­nychus ur­ticae and T. evansii) and var­roa mite, a para­site of bees. It can be com­bined with use of Phyto­sei­ulus and Ambly­seius an­der­soni in man­age­ment of red spider mites. It is ap­plied at a rate of 1Litre/ha (½litre per acre).

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