Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

What is Biological Control of pests?

  • Biological control can be define as control of harmful pests by using parasitic and predatory insects and pathogens is called biological pest control.

Benefits of Biological Control of pests

  • Biological control has many advantages over different methods of pest control.
  • Parasites and predator insects have a strong ability to detect crop pests and attack them to reduce pest infestation.
  • Adoption of biological control does not cause pollution. Pest resistance and re-emergence issues do not arise.
  • This method is completely safe for harmless organisms in nature.
  • Biological control methods have minimal side effects and provide long-lasting control of harmful pests.
  • Although initially expensive, this method is economically viable in the long run and quite safe for the environment.

Different Types of Biological Agents:

  1. Parasite
  • Trichogramma species
  • Encarsia species
  • Apentellis species
  • Tachinid fly
  • Epiricania melanoleuca
  1. Predator
  • Chrysopa
  • Ladybird Beetle
  • Geocoris
  1. Pathogens:
  • Bacteria, Viruses, fungi
  • Bacteria: Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus popilii
  • Viruses: Nuclear Polyhedrosis Viruses (NPVs)
  • Fungi: Beveria baeziana, Metarhizium antisepsis and Lecanicillium lecani

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Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

Parasite:

(1) Trichogramma species:

  • These wasps are small and yellow in color and are not easily visible to the naked eye,which controls the egg stage of green caterpillars, armyworms, castor semi-lopper, etc.
  • A female wasp destroy about 120 eggs of harmful insects during her lifetime
  • In cotton crops 1.5 to 2.0 lakh wasps/ha/week is recommended for control of bollworm.
  • Similarly, it is recommended to release 2.4 to 2.8 lakh wasps, 6 to 7 times per hectare every 15 days for control of borers in sugarcane crops.

(2) Encarsia species:

  • These wasps lay their eggs in the pupae of whiteflies that damage the sugarcane crop.
  • The fertilized whitefly pupae develop into adults. While the parasitic caterpillar is inside the pupae of the whitefly. The part is eaten raw and in it the parasitic caterpillar builds its adult.
  • From the parasitized whitefly adult, instead of the whitefly adult, the Encarsia wasp adult emerges through a special type of round hole.
  • At the onset of whitefly infestation in the sugarcane crop release the parasites in the field, cut the infested leaves with infected whitefly adults into small pieces and place them in cages with 40 mesh nets on both sides.
  • Keeping 10 such cages per hectare.

Also Read…….Nematode Management in Protected Cultivation-Green House


Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

(3) Apentellis species:

  • Female parasitoid wasps of Apentellis species lay their own eggs in the body of small caterpillars like armyworms, cabbage leaf eating caterpillars, cotton pink bollworms, cabbage diamondback moth, etc.
  • The larvae of the mite remain inside the body and develop, causing the parasitized caterpillar and gradually become weak or sick, stop feeding, and eventually die.

(4) Tachinid fly:

  • Tachinid flies are similar to houseflies.
  • This parasite fly destroys insect mites, caterpillars of butterflies, and mustard flies at the caterpillar stage.
  • It parasitizes and destroys armyworms, green caterpillars, sugarcane borers, and bollworms in sorghum crops.

(5) Epiricania melanoleuca:

  • The caterpillar of this parasite reaches the back of the Pyrilla moth found in the sugarcane crop through the tail or wing, and while pinching there, enters the body of the Pyrilla and sucks the blood from it so that the Pyrilla is destroyed.
  • It is recommended to release one lakh eggs (250 sets of eggs) and 2000 adult/ha.

Also Read…….Summer Green gram-Mung Bean Farming


Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

(b) Predators:

(1) Chrysopa :

  • This predatory insect is known by the farmers as a green parrot that eats crop-damaging moths, thrips, green leafhoppers, whiteflies, mealybugs, and the eggs and small caterpillars of harmful insects.
  • The caterpillar stage of this predatory insect is omnivorous.
  • In cotton crops to control the infestation of sucking pests release 2 to 3 days old Chrysopani caterpillar 10,000 /ha and thereafter three times in a week.

(2) Ladybird Beetle:

  • This predatory insect is known by the farmers as daliya, dhalia, bagwa, or tortoise.
  • Both the adult and caterpillar stages of this predatory insect are omnivorous.
  • These predators feed on Aphid and small insects with soft bodies.

(3) Geocoris :

  • This omnivorous insect is known by farmers as big-eyed sucker.
  • They feed on crop-damaging insects like moths, thrips, green leafhoppers, whiteflies, mealy bugs, weevils and moth eggs, and first instar caterpillars.

Also Read…….Natural Farming


Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

(c) Pathogens :

  • Pathogens are a type of microorganism. They cause disease in pests and as a result, the pests die from the disease.
  • Pathogens include bacteria, viruses and fungi.

 (1) Bacteria :

  • Mainly Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus popilii can be used for pest control.
  • The bacterium enters the body of the mite and produces a type of poison.
  • This toxin makes holes in the wall of the mite’s digestive tract and paralyzes the mite so that the mite cannot feed and dies within 2 to 3 days.
  • Generally, it is recommended to use 0.75 to 1.5 kg and a maximum 2.0 kg per hectare of bacterial-based biological insecticides, keeping in mind the amount of damage caused by that pest.

Also Read…….Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide


Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

 (2) Viruses:

  • Among the different types of viruses, nuclear polyhedrosis viruses (NPVs) are more widely used in the field of pest control.
  • It is specially used to control green caterpillars and armyworms.
  • When the virus enters the intestinal wall along with the food of the worm and the special type of cells present it attacks and destroys it.
  • Diseased caterpillars initially stop eating. As the severity of the disease increases, the liquid is expelled through the mouth of the caterpillar in the form of vomiting and from the anus in the form of diarrhea and the caterpillar dies.
  • Such a dead caterpillar is found hanging upside down on the top of the plant by its hind legs.
  • In cotton crops, control of green caterpillar 450 LE/ha, and 250 LE/ha in chickpea, tomato, pigeon pea, sunflower, and groundnut crops NPV of 2 to 3 sprays are recommended.
  • Similarly, 250 to 300 LE/ha for control of armyworm in different crops, NPV of 2 to 3 sprays are recommended.

(3) Fungi :

  • Entomo pathogenic fungi like Beveria baeziana, Metarhizium antisepsis and Lecanicillium lecani are grown in a laboratory on a special medium and their spores are collected and mixed with a defined substance.
  • This entomo pathogenic fungus grows on the epidermis of the mites, hence the mites and the body become covered with fungus.
  • Then it enters its body and causes disease and the mite dies in 5 to 6 days due to fungal attack.
  • Generally, it is recommended to spray 40 grams of entomo pathogenic fungus-based biological insecticides per 10 liters of water.

Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

Biological Control of Agricultural Insect Pests

FAQs:

1. What is the Biological Control of Insect-Pest in Agriculture?

Ans: Biological control is the control of harmful pests by using parasitic and predatory insects and pathogens is called biological pest control.

2. Name the different Parasite Biological Control agents used for Insect-Pests control in Agriculture.

Ans: Different Parasite Biological Control agents used for Insect-Pests control in Agriculture are as under: • Trichogramma wasps • Encarsia species • Apentellis species • Tachinid fly • Epiricania melanoleuca

3. Name the different PREDATORS Biological Control agents used for Insect-Pests control in Agriculture.

Ans: Different PREDATORS Biological Control agents used for Insect-Pests control in Agriculture are as under: • Chrysopa • Ladybird Beetle • Geocoris

4. Name the different PATHOGENS Biological Control agents used for insect pest control in Agriculture.

Ans: Different PATHOGENS Biological Control agents used for Insect-Pests control in Agriculture are as under: o Bacteria: Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus popilii o Viruses: Nuclear Polyhedrosis Viruses (NPVs) o Fungi: Beveria baeziana, Metarhizium antisepsis and Lecanicillium lecani

5. How NPV-Nuclear Polyhydrosis Viruses Kill the Agriculture Insect-Pests?

Ans: Among the different types of viruses, nuclear polyhedrosis viruses (NPVs) are more widely used in the field of pest control. It is specially used to control green caterpillars and armyworms. When the virus enters the intestinal wall along with the food of the worm and the special type of cells present it attacks and destroys it. Diseased caterpillars initially stop eating. As the severity of the disease increases, the liquid is expelled through the mouth of the caterpillar in the form of vomiting and from the anus in the form of diarrhea and the caterpillar dies. Such a dead caterpillar is found hanging upside down on the top of the plant by its hind legs.

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