Essay, Pages 2 (461 words)
Integrated pest management (IPM) is a recently developed technology for pest control that is aimed at achieving the desired control while reducing the use of pesticides. To accomplish this, various combinations of chemical, biological, and physical controls are employed. In the past, pesticides were all too often applied routinely whether needed or not. With IPM, pest populations as well as beneficial parasite and predator populations are monitored to determine whether the pests actually present a serious problem that needs to be treated.
If properly and extensively employed, IPM might reduce pesticide use by as much as 0 percent, while at the same time improving pest control. If this goal were achieved, the environmental problems would be minimized, and significant benefits would result for farmers and society as a whole. IPM coordinates economically and environmentally acceptable methods of pest control with judicious and minimal use of toxic pesticides. IPM programs assess local conditions, including climate, crop characteristics, the biology of the pest species, and soil quality, to determine the best method of pest control.
Tactics employed include better tillage to prevent soil erosion and introduction f beneficial insects that eat harmful species. Many pests that are attached to crop residues can be eliminated by plowing them underground. Simple paper or plastic barriers placed around fruit trees deter insects, which can also be attracted to light traps and destroyed. Weeds can be controlled by spreading grass, leaf, or black plastic mulch. Weeds also may be pulled or hoed from the soil.
Many biological controls are also effective.
Such insect pests as the European corn borer, and the Japanese beetle, have been controlled by introducing their predators and parasites. Wasps that prey on fruit-boring insect larvae are now being commercially bred and released in California orchards. The many hundreds of species of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and nematodes that parasitize pest insects and weeds are now being investigated as selective control agents.
Another area of biological control is breeding host plants to be pest resistant, making them less prone to attack by fungi and insects. The use of sex pheromones is an effective measure for luring and trapping insects. Pheromones have been synthesized for the Mediterranean fruit fly, the melon fly, and the Oriental ruit fly. Another promising pest-control method is the release of sterilized male insects into wild pest populations, causing females to bear infertile eggs.
Of these techniques, breeding host-plant resistance and using beneficial parasites and predators are the most effective. Interestingly, the combined use of biological and physical controls accounts for more pest control than chemical pesticides. And with that, I conclude this report with saying that we should pay more attention to Integrated Pest Management to help achieve a better future for our generation and the next generation to come.