When it comes to insect control, there are several methods to consider. First, biological control is the most effective approach, because it helps maintain a balance between pests and their natural enemies. This method uses pesticides, or agents that mimic natural enemies. These agents are released into an environment in sufficient amounts to knock out pest populations. For instance, most commercial insect pathogen formulations are applied inundatively, or in a large enough quantity to eliminate most pests.
Some insects are easier to control than others. These include insects with incomplete life cycles. These insects can be controlled at any stage, but they are easier to control in the nymphal stage, after they hatch from eggs. Figure VI-2 shows the developmental stages of various insects, including the common garden pest, the corn borer. These insects can damage plants by sucking juices and chewing on plant tissue. They can also transmit disease, so proper insect control is essential.
Some natural insecticides are considered less toxic to humans and the environment. Essential oils, which are extracted from plants, are among the least toxic ingredients. They are used as contact killers and insecticides. They should be applied to the entire surface of the plant, but should not be applied to wilted plants. The best time to apply insecticides is during the day when the wind is calm.
Ladybug larvae feed on aphids and other insects. Hoverflies, which feed on aphids, are another important predator of mosquitoes. Ladybug larvae can eat as many as 50 aphids a day and over a thousand over its lifetime. Dragonflies, which feed on mosquitoes, are also important insects in insect control.
Biological insecticides are effective against several types of insects and larvae. Most of these products contain Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and work by paralyzing the insect’s gut. These products are most effective against larvae and young stages of insects. However, they are ineffective against adult insects. They also do not spread disease among insect populations. It is important to select the best product for your specific pest control needs.
Chemical controls are also an option for pest control. These are available in a variety of types, and can be organic or synthetic. Insecticides must be chosen with caution, as their use can pose a threat to humans. Insecticides should be used sparingly and according to label directions. A better understanding of the different kinds of insecticides will help you use them more effectively.
Other approaches to insect control are based on the genetics of pest species. This approach involves the use of selective mutations that reduce the number of insects. The males in the pest species are selectively mutated. This means that the pests will no longer reproduce. This is a greener option that can be effective for many pests.
Another approach to pest control is to apply soaps or detergents. This method is more natural than most, and it’s also much safer than pesticides. However, soaps can cause damage to plants when sprayed in direct sunlight or high humidity. For effective control, these products should be applied to the lower and upper surfaces of the leaves.