The major concern for farmers is important loss due to pests and diseases, which is regardless of any production system adopted. Plant pathogens, insects, and weed pests devastate over 40% of all possible sustenance creation every year
Pests are organisms which can damage the crops and compete with them. They cause decrease in the plant density, stunted growth of plant, a lower production capacity, and lessen the yield or nature of horticultural products. A standout among the most well-known approaches to regulate or dispense pests is to kill pests using pesticides. The pesticides may cause biological or physical damage to pest organisms. Some pesticides are applied indirectly or by spraying on a plant which can be consumed by an insect. Several techniques for crop protection were developed to prevent and minimize the loss of crops due to pests in the field (preharvest losses) and during storage (postharvest losses). Crop protection involves products, tools, and practices which can be used by farmers to protect their harvest against insects, disease, and weeds. Weeds steal sunlight, nutrients, and water from crops. The food production can be influenced by insects and diseases. Farmers around the globe settle on various choices every day with respect to how best to secure their crops by using different practices like biological control, microbial pesticides, pest behavior, genetic manipulation.
Ways of controlling pest and disease control
Biologically based pesticide products or biorational products contain pheromones (a chemical substance released by an animal into the environment, particularly an insect or a mammal, affecting the physiology or behavior of its other species) or living microorganisms, which have little negative impact on the environment and are nontoxic. Bacillus thuringiensis-based (Bt-based) microbial pesticides are most effective biorational pesticides.
These types of biorational pesticides can be used in the place of competitive chemical products, which are banned in export markets where the concerns about food residue are high, and in environmentally sensitive areas. “Pheromone-assisted technique” increases the efficiency of insecticides against ants. When a combination of insecticide and pheromones is used, it can actually trap away ants from their trails and nests to the insecticide. Thus, it reduces the contact of insecticide with the environment, while increasing the exposure of ants to the insecticide for eradication.
Insect growth regulators (IGRs)
Insect growth regulators (IGRs) are synthetic insect hormones, which can be used as insecticides to regulate the populations of harmful insect pests. IGRs prevent an insect from reaching maturity by interfering with the molting process. Many IGR products are mixed with other insecticides that kill adult insects. IGRs are generally less toxic to humans.
Nontoxic heat treatments
New methods of pest control are based on low-toxic solutions that can be more sustainable and effective than harsh chemicals; one such method is to use heat to eliminate insects. Rentokil’s Entotherm is a new solution that eradicates bedbugs and cockroaches. Rather than using sprays, which often do not penetrate the hard outer shell, the heat delivered by the Entotherm system kills insects from the inside through dehydration and damage to essential physiological processes. Another benefit is that the heat effectively kills all the life stages of insects—egg, larva, pupa, and adult, without needing to go over 56–60°C, which is high enough to kill the pests rapidly.
CRISPR technology to control pests
CRISPR gene editing tool is a method to alter key genes that regulate the fertility and sex determination of insects. CRISPR technology has allowed researchers to invent a new effective control technology which can be safe, self-limiting, and scalable genetic population for a specific species. It has the potential to be developed and utilized for a plethora of insect pests and disease vectors. This technology can be safely used in the field to suppress and even destroy target species.
Second-generation green products
Since last few years, the major focus surrounding green products has been from a public health perspective. The demand of green products is increasing and shifting to eco-protection. Nowadays, second-generation green products are emerging. These second-generation green products will have better ingredients, greater efficacy, and less disadvantages. For example, a first-generation insecticide containing plant essential oils may have an unpleasant smell. In contrast to this, the second-generation insecticide contains different amounts of the original ingredients or other materials, which reduces the smell, while it is still being effective.
The mobile data-capture devices can be introduced for pest control, which are able to capture real-time data about the location and nature of the pest problems and then store it in a central database online, which both facility managers and pest control professionals could access. This also made it simple to track multiple facilities and allowed for more timely corrective actions and more targeted pest-control treatments.
The fly bait stickers can be used near the food storage area or where the flies congregate. The small sticker is coated with insect food and an insecticide that has the ability to knockdown flies in just 1 min upon contact.
Conventional pesticides are toxic residues, pest resistance, secondary pests, and pest resurgence. Thus, they are not only dangerous to the environment but also hazardous to human health. In order to encourage organic farming, plant protection, and reduce pesticides’ usage in food products, pheromone traps and other modern technologies can play a crucial role. So, it necessary to apply novel technologies that result in producing high quality of food and better income generation.
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