Friday, August 29, 2014

Practical pest control methods

Practical pest control methods
Dr Abe V Rotor
 Golden apple snail (Pomacea caniculata) is the number 
one pest of rice plants today in the Philippines. They lay 
pink eggs in clusters above the water level ensuring 
viability and high survival. 

1.  Snails (kuhol) are controlled with tubli, makabuhay and other plants.
Before the introduction of chemical pesticides our native kuhol was a good source of viand in the ricefield and seldom did it turn against growing rice plants. Almost simultaneously in the sixties the golden kuhol or apple snail (Pomacea caniculata) was introduced with the promise that it is a better gourmet, and that it could even be exported.  It did not turn out that way, and with the resistance this exotic mollusk developed having left behind its natural enemies, it emerged a maverick, now the number one pest of rice plants infesting two-thirds of our total lowland ricefield area of no less than two million hectares. Agriculturists have lately turned their attention to phytochemicals to control golden kuhol.  These are the plants they have confirmed to be effective.
·         Derris philippinensis (derris or tubli)
·         Manihot esculenta (cassava)
·         Chrysanthemum morifolium (chrysanthemum)
·         Capsicum anuum (pepper or siling labuyo)
·         Tinospora rhumpii (makabuhay) - Photo, below
·         Azideracta asiatica (Neem) 

Except for siling labuyo, the leaves and stems of any of these plants are either crushed or chopped finely and applied directly on the ricefield, controlling the water level up to three to four inches so as to allow the active ingredients to spread out and reach the pest in all of its stages. Where there are two or more of these plants growing in the area, farmers may use them in any combination, either alternately or simultaneously.

2. Incense rids chickens of lice.  It also calms them down. 
I learned this practice from my father when I was a farmhand. We raised native chickens on the range.  In the evening, we would occasionally smoke the fouls in their roasts under the house. “That would rid them of lice (gayamo’ Ilk),” my father assured me. “And pick a cull for tomorrow’s dinner,” he would add. 

I would sprinkle powdered incense into live charcoal and you could see the column of smoke rising and filling the roasting area.  You could hear the fowls cockle feebly, slowly loosen their feathers and pry their wings as if to allow the cloud of smoke to bathe them. Soon they are lulled to sleep or go into a kind of trance; you could pick them up without any sign of resistance. Without this calming power of incense, the slightest move you make on a roasting chicken would send it squawking in the night.~

Biological Control - Preying or praying mantis (Mantis religiosa) is the number one executioner in the insect world, a friend to farmers and gardeners. 



  

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