Types of Pests: Since the beginning of agriculture, pests have been responsible for the destruction of crops, often resulting in hunger episodes and other calamities. There are several types of agricultural pests, depending on the crop or plant being cultivated and the geographic region. The types of agricultural pests that are present in a given region is primarily dependent upon the physico-climatic conditions of that region. Agricultural pests can be described depending on their taxonomic groups, including insects and other related arthropods, birds, rodents, weeds, invasive species, disease causing organisms. Some pest species may attack a wide variety of crops or plants.
These types of pests are called polyphagics. On the other hand, monophagic species only feed on specific plants. There are also pests that feed on all part of the plant (root, stem, leaves, fruit), while other feed uniquely on a specific part.
Insects and other arthropods
Insects and other arthropods are by far the most destructive types of agricultural pests. There are several species of insects and other related arthropods that attack and destroy crops. They are the number one source of agricultural losses in many part of the world.
Some of these pests attack crops in field during the development of the plant, before and after the harvest. Stored product pest specifically invade and destroy grains during storage. These particular types of insects pests are responsible for post harvest losses especially in developing countries where farmers do not have proper infrastructures to protect their harvest grains. Insect pests control is not an amateur job.
More often, we as entomology tend to talk about pest management more than pest control. Because in reality, it is extremely difficult to control an insect pests once they are established and adapted to a crop in a particular region. Control is an illusion, and that’s why continuous and sustained actions are necessary to keep insect pest under the economic injury level. One may not completely eradicate insect pests, but keep their population at a level that is economically acceptable. Insect management rely several methods including the use of insecticides, biological control,
Birds can be consider as second to insects in terms of destructive power, and they are more difficult to control. One particular thing about birds is that they are mostly pests of fruits like berries and cherries and flowers than the actual plants. Birds can cause significant damage to open field and farmers often have little or no capabilities to combat them.
Weeds and invasive species
Weeds and invasive species constitute another category of agricultural pests that affect agricultural production. Weeds are any unwanted plants that are growing in the direct vicinity of the cultivated plants or in lawns.
Weeds occur naturally and some may have benefits to the lands by fixing nitrogen in the soil. These unwanted plants compete for nutrient and space with the cultivated crops and thereby affect the proper development and yield of our crops.
More recently we have a new phenomena of invasive plant species moving around regions and posing serious threat to cultivated crops. In most case weeds are already present in soil before you sow your crops. Sometimes poor maintenance or failure to act ahead of time are the principal cause of weed outgrowth.
In most cases it is extremely important to think about weed management before you even grow your crop or lawn.
Rodents play a major destructive role as agricultural pests. Mice, raccoon, squirrels and and many others rodents attack and destroy crop. One of the critical of rodent pests is that they breed rapidly an so their population can increase dramatically resulting in heavy destruction of the crop that they attack. Rodent bait is often the major way to get rid of them.
Wild animals like deers, elephants, antelopes eat and damage crops and thus are considered as pests.
Plant disease-causing microorganisms like viruses, bacteria and fungi cause diseases to crops that result in yield loss. These pests are often difficult to control and require the intervention of pest management specialists who can choose the appropriate measures to be taken.