COVID-19 pandemic is already causing debilitating effects in virtually every industry of the global economy. Unfortunately, the agricultural sector is no exception and hasn’t been left unscathed.
For those who don’t identify as agriculture workers, the pandemic poses a significant threat to food security, especially in economies where the agriculture model is labor-intensive. Travel restrictions are hindering the mobility of labor and disrupting labor-dependent production as active cases skyrocket.
In light of these changes, preserving usable crops is all the more critical for struggling farmers. Those in the agriculture sector need to search for pest control companies specializing in agricultural pest control services. Otherwise, these pests will continue to harm vulnerable local farming communities.
Effects of pests on crops
Pest species, including insects, rodents, and birds, can wreak havoc on farmers’ crops. To mitigate damage and remain competitive, consider pursuing professional pest control services.
Pests can cause devastating effects on crops. How so? For one, these insects and rodents feast on the crops’ leaves, fruits, and roots, leading to the eventual death of your profit-yielding produce. Insects (like aphids) can also transmit harmful bacteria, fungi, or viral infections to your crops, resulting in comparable damage.
Looking at rodents specifically, these scurrying rats and mice can cause untold damage to your crops, especially during the harvest season. Other rodents like moles feed on the plant’s roots causing substantial physical damage and skewing agriculture industry leaders’ crop yields.
Damage to finished products
Pest species like weevils, rats, and mice don’t discriminate when hunting for food sources. Much like these rodents target sprouting crops, they similarly flock to finished products stored for sale or consumption. Other insects like moths and beetles can contaminate food, making it unfit for human consumption.
If you’re struggling to tell whether your finished products are under siege, keep your eyes peeled for holes in grains, insects’ tracks in the floury dust, fecal deposits, and webbing produced by larvae of moths. Typically, grains become warmer when infected, resulting in damp, moldy grains.
Rodents invade barns, sacks, and other storage areas to gnaw on grains and other nearby food sources. As if that’s not enough, these outdoor pests will urinate on your foodstuff, which can lead to the contamination of grains. Furthermore, rodents are well-known for carrying diseases and bacteria. If farm owners don’t neutralize the threat in ample time, they can leave a trail of damage by contaminating foodstuff and surfaces they scamper across.
Equipment and machinery damage
Rodents (particularly rats and mice) can inflict structural damage to farm buildings and equipment. Using their ever-growing teeth, rodents gnaw at wood, concrete, electrical wires, and even metal, rendering farm equipment immobile or unusable.
Damaged equipment leads to stoppages in production, which affects productivity. Following this trail of destruction, inhibited productivity can cause agricultural industry leaders to lag behind their competitors.
Pest varieties targeting the agricultural sector
Destructive pests come in different kinds. Some destroy your premises, while others, like bed bugs, disturb your sleep. If you happen to dodge these sleep-disrupting and property-damaging pest varieties, rodents will leave disease-ridden waste deposits on your premises.
However, the worst insects are the ones that victimize your plant life. Pests can destroy acres of plants, ruining food that could feed hundreds of people. Below is a rundown of the most destructive pests causing chaos in the agriculture industry
Locusts have been well-known culprits of rop damage since as early as 2,000 BC. Today, they are still a considerable threat to plants. When moving in swarms, they migrate from one location to another, leaving skeletonized plants in their wake.
Adult weevils munch on leaves and trunks, and grubs feed on roots, ultimately causing plants’ death. The most affected crop varieties include wheat, maize, coconut, and sorghum.
These beetles have been wreaking havoc in Eastern US farms since 1916, as they can feed on over 300 species of plants. Japanese beetles increase in numbers around June and feed for four to six weeks, leaving behind inconceivable plant damage.
Their favorite menu items include wheat, guava, barley, oats, and chilies. These small, soft-bodied insects are known to suck sap, especially during spring and summer. Severe infestation leads to twisting of leaves, stunted growth, withering, and eventual death of plants.
Fruit and shoot borers
Their larvae bore into tender plants, leading to the plant’s eventual disintegration. Borers also destroy flowers and blooming fruits.
Corn is a common crop, especially in the Midwest US. Corn rootworms have caused farmers sleepless nights because of their resistance to pesticides. In most cases, these insects will emerge from the ground in June and July, destroying leaves and corn silk.
Stink bugs are not only a threat in your home but also to your crops. They feed on stems, leaves, and sap of plants like apples, beans, berries, peaches, sorghum, cotton, and many more.
Pests can have devastating effects on the agricultural sector while threatening millions of American’s food security. To deter this pest-related damage, devise a thoughtfully-crafted pest control strategy. Consider hiring services of pest control services with long-standing experience to provide comprehensive pest treatment plans.