When one considers embarking on a pest control mission, the first image that comes to mind is a bunch of spraying and gardens with pesticides. And for the most part which approach will be accurate. But since the environmental movement of the 1960s, people have started to move away from the use of insecticides for a wide range of reasons, and have started to rediscover old approaches, and invent new ones including biological pest control.
Yes, one such approach is known as biological pest control, or biocontrol, and while the idea that it can work together with traditional insecticides is new, the procedures used are actually quite old. Biological pest control works by boosting the growth of natural predators and depends on that status to keep undesirable insects at bay. The first known attempt at biocontrol was in 16th century China, where agriculturalists there utilized ants to save their citrus orchards from pests.
The first recorded try at biocontrol in America, however, wasn’t done until the 1800s, where scientists tried to thwart a certain species of cabbage worm by utilizing a special category of parasitic mini-wasp. Their attempt was largely unproductive because it was based on flawed research carried out by an Italian scientist. The project failed totally, but the results would not be completely forgotten.
biological pest control fell out of favor following the successful use of DDT in World War II, and because it was so effective, following the war it was utilized everywhere from cities to commercial farms. It was used broadly throughout cities all across America and was even used as the pesticide-of-choice for an international campaign to eradicate Malaria. It continued in widespread use until a book, Silent Spring by environmentalist Rachel Carson, was published
Her book explored the use of DDT and the results of widespread use without regard to the environment. She showed evidence linking DDT to many serious environmental issues including a drastic reduction in the bird population and groundwater pollution and even offered evidence to support the possibility of nerve damage in humans. Her work is credited for helping begin the environmental movement of the ’60s.
Following these exposures, lawmakers stiffened regulations governing insecticides and pesticides, not just DDT, driving their costs up, and advances in technology have made them hard to use. These days, they often need the training to ensure that they are used correctly. These factors have helped renew interest in biological pest control, which in turn, has assisted in the development of a new practice for exterminators, known as Integrated Pest Management.
Integrated Pest Management mixes biocontrol with many other methods, including a thorough analysis of the specific pest to make a specialized treatment that is intended to be highly efficient at exterminating that particular pest while lessening the amount of collateral damage caused to the surroundings. The advantage is that you can lessen, or even completely avoid the need for harmful pesticides in favor of more natural solutions.
Though IPM itself is far from being an excellent solution, there is no doubt that it is far more useful for long-term application when compared to harmful pesticides like DDT. By far the biggest disadvantage of IPM is the amount of skill and time needed to develop a good treatment and to implement it as well, but through the use of IPM, you keep the environment from the damaging effects of wanton pesticide use, while helping improve pest control as a science general. Biological pest control is a well welcome method of pest control.
Geodesic Dome Greenhouses – Biological Pest Control
One of the main reasons to create geodesic dome greenhouses is so you control what is and isn’t put onto your household’s food. Most commercial greenhouse operatives believe that it’s impossible to run a greenhouse without insecticides. Getting these chemicals out of your food is perhaps why you have or want to create a greenhouse in the first place.
To control insects and pests without the use of pesticides, it’s vital to select and populate your dome with predators that consume insects and don’t destroy your plants. These mainly include small lizards, praying mantis, and ladybugs.
Preying mantis and small lizards can live forever inside your dome. Both are insatiable insect eaters and will help control uninvited pests. Used together, the lizards will also keep your preying mantis populace under control should they explode surprisingly. Though, without enough insects to feed them, this is unlikely.