Pest Control Options

When it comes to pest control, you have options. You can choose a variety of treatments for pests, from insecticides to fungicides. In addition, you can use cultural controls to help keep insects at bay.


When you use insecticides, you are applying a toxic substance that is used to kill insects. The chemicals are usually poisonous to humans, but they can also be harmful to animals and the environment.

There are many different types of insecticides. Each type has its own mode of action. For example, some insecticides are contact poisons, which affect the skin and nervous system of the pest. Other insecticides are fumigants, which enter the insect’s respiratory system.

There are also botanical insecticides, which act by specific chemical pathways. These are based on oils and botanical extracts, and are used to control a variety of insects.

Some synthetic organic insecticides have replaced older insecticides. They have been developed to increase crop yields while at the same time reducing the use of pesticides.

Natural insecticides are often derived from plants and work by absorbing a waxy substance from an insect’s exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is the main component of an insect’s body.

Insect growth regulators (IGRs) are another group of pest control products. These are chemicals that mimic the juvenile hormone that tells an insect to remain an immature stage.


Fungicides are a broad category of products that are applied directly to field crops and ornamentals to control fungal infections. These products also are used to control post-harvest diseases, such as fruit rots, which can lead to reduced yields and rapid destruction of high-moisture commodities.

Fungicides kill by inactivating critical enzymes, damaging cell membranes, or by disrupting key metabolic pathways. They are a vital part of disease management and can be very effective in eradicating fungal infections. However, they are not always needed. In some cases, resistance to fungicides can develop.

Several fungicides are banned in some countries. Others are in the process of reevaluation due to suspected toxicity. Some have been deregistered.

Most fungicides today are organic compounds. The active ingredient is registered with the manufacturer. Sulfur is still commonly used. Other active ingredients include neem oil and jojoba oil.

Historically, fungicides were developed as inorganic compounds based on sulfur and metal ions. Many of the first fungicides were effective, but later development of new fungicides has made it easier to develop single-site systemics.

Cultural controls

Cultural controls are a type of agricultural management which aims to alter the conditions in the environment in which pests live. The methods used can vary from removing weeds to changing the weather.

The goal of cultural controls is to create a hostile environment for pests and diseases. They include such practices as pruning, sanitation, crop rotation, and soil solarization. In addition, they can help reduce the need for pesticides.

While cultural controls have been used in the past to control pests, their use has been weakened by the availability of insecticides. Therefore, they may need to be adapted to combat new challenges. However, they are still an important part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program.

One of the major strategies of cultural control is increasing the biological diversity of crops and the associated plant and animal community. This involves a wide range of strategies including genetic selection, site selection, and crop rotation.

Another strategy involves the destruction of crop residue. This is particularly important for pink bollworm in cotton and stem rot of rice.

Invasive Japanese beetles

Invasive Japanese beetles are a pest that has devastated urban landscapes in the eastern United States. It is estimated that they damage more than 300 species of plants. The larvae of the insect feed on the roots of grass and garden plants. Their feeding causes the foliage to hollow out.

Adult Japanese beetles are small insects that measure about half an inch in length. They have a metallic green body and bronze outer wings. They are also adorned with six white tufts of hair that run down their abdomens.

Since the Japanese beetle was first introduced to the United States in 1916, it has expanded its range steadily. They are now found in the eastern and western U.S. This is due to their abundance of food sources and the lack of natural enemies.

Adult Japanese beetles are a common pest to fruit and vegetable gardens as well as nursery plants. Depending on the species, they can seriously damage flowers and leaves. However, healthy mature plants can tolerate a lot of feeding.