Definition of Biological Pest Control
People are turning towards the use of eco-friendly pest control methods as there are many advantages of biological pest control. The term “biological pest control” is a modern term, but an old fashioned method. Before chemicals were used farmers would use animals and plants to manage pests; today this method is making a come back with the popularity and benefits of organic gardening and green living. This method controls unwanted pests, including insects and weeds, using natural methods rather than harmful chemicals.
By using natural pest control methods rather than chemicals the food chain is not disrupted. Putting a chemical spray on a plant may kill the pest, but it breaks the food chain, consequently starving predators. However, using biological pest control, the predators are placed in an area with a plentiful supply of food and the pests are gone. In order to remove pests, use the following predators:
- Ladybirds will get rid of greenflies
- Dragonflies will keep mosquitoes at bay
- Hedgehogs will take care of the caterpillars
Organic pest control is not only effective at killing pests, but at keeping pests away from the agricultural area as well. In order to repel pests, plants that the pests find unattractive need to be placed around the plant attracting the pests. Another option is to use odorous plants to confuse the pests, causing them to leave the vicinity. For example, cat litter is spread around farms to keep the rabbits away from growing vegetables.
Opting for a biological method of pest control is very cost effective. There will be an initial investment to purchase the predators, however from that point forward the costs are minimal. It is not necessary to purchase food for the predators, the pests are the food. No need to purchase more “biological pest control” because mating will inevitably happen. Meanwhile, chemical pest control runs out and stocks need to be replenished regularly. Research has shown that the financial advantages of using natural tactics outweigh the costs with a ratio of 11:1.
Benefits for Businesses
In the future, controlling pests with a biological method is going to become even more popular. A hot topic at the moment is climate change and how we as humans are damaging the environment with our greed and excess. Companies are being forced to reflect on how they are contributing to global warming, with customers taking a stance against those damaging the environment by refusing to buy their products. In order for companies with an agricultural element, including supermarkets, to maximize their profits changes will have to be made. One area that could be easily and efficiently be changed is how pests are managed, switching from harmful chemical products to eco-friendly biological practices. Not only would this be good for the reputation of the company and the environment, but the company would line their pockets with profit because a well-implemented pest control program will make $20.50 for every $1 invested.
To summarize, the advantages of biological pest control are that it does not interfere with the natural food chain and that it can be used to both kill pests and repel them depending on the desire of the person implementing the system. While the initial cost can make green management more of an investment then a bottle of chemicals, this is out weighed in the long term with a savings of $19.50 per $1 invested, making biological control cost effective.