Brown Planthoppers Turns Lahore City into Dark!

Humidity in air, precipitation, almost hot days, moderate nights and frequent rainfall call many pests to invade urban areas. Swarmer’s, mosquitoes, flies, moths, centipedes and hoppers are some most alarming pests now a days in Lahore, Pakistan. Brown planthoppers are being on top irritating pests and have set the records to raid every type of living style from home to streetlamps, parks, restaurants, malls, shops and other public buildings turning them into complete dark as they are not behind human beings like all other pests instead they face urban areas forcefully in the lust of artificial light. They usually do not bite but their presence create nuisance, irritation and pose a big threat to food safety and hygiene in food preparation, processing and storage areas and turning them into complete darkness.

Brown planthoppers are brown in color, wings are transparent with very conspicuous veins. Young nymphs are white in color but on later instars they turn into brown color. They remain active throughout the year.

They are basically agricultural pest of rice resulting almost 60% yield losses through sucking the cell sap annually and also responsible for transmitting viruses to rice crop.

Smartness of their survival:

Brown plant hoppers usually exhibits dimorphism i.e. long winged and short winged adults termed as macropterous and brachypterous respectively. Macropterous adult formation (that type which we face in urban environment around lights) is a way to stop, migrate or reduce their population as they are not able to reproduce and survive as long and as much as brachypterous. That’s why we find many of them dead around light floor in the morning.

Mystery behind exposure of hoppers in urban environment:

We see our lightbulbs covered with brown plant hoppers are basically migrants from rice fields. This migration could be of two reasons:

  • Over population of hoppers in rice field.
  • When rice is on its harvesting stage, they feel low precipitation content and food and water scarcity there and start to migrate towards relatively higher conditions as now a day in urban areas of Lahore.

Management:

  • First and foremost, it is responsibility of agriculture sector to manage their population under tolerable number through use of efficient resistant rice cultivars, timely monitor their population and pesticide resistant and apply controls accordingly. So that, they could less interfere human being lives.
  • Exterior light management could be effective in urban environment to minimize their activity. Use of sodium halogen bulbs and yellow light instead of white is very effective as they do not respond towards yellow light.
  • Use of sticky tapes around light also provide control.
  • Proper weed and plant management around buildings is also be useful because they might be providing them habitat as enriched with moisture.
  • Installation of air curtains, laser gates and strip curtains on all loading, entrance doors and in partitions of compartment would also hinder their entrance into our premises.
  • Installation and keeping active of EFK and ILT’s on recommended places would attract and trap them and giving some control.
  • Pesticide application won’t be effective and recommended as space treatment could not be implemented due to pesticide hazards towards urban environment as it would be agriculture and they will surely come back again whenever you turned on light yet prevention can control them somehow.

 

 

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Pest Management Practices

Pest Management Practices

pest-control

In 1950’s Entomologists discovered that insects and pest were developing resistance to pesticides because of their excessive use and abuse. On the other hand Environmentalists were concerned about the destruction and risk of pesticides relating to the atmosphere. In 1960’s Rachel Carson‘s book named as Silent Spring warned people with the problems associated with pesticides.

Then a holistic solution to the problem of managing injurious insects and other pest was evolved named as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective environmentally sensitive approach to manage pest that is based on a combination of more than one appropriate practice. IPM programs use current and wide-ranging information on the life cycles of the pest, history of the pests and their interaction with the environment. This information is used to manage pest and damage caused by it with the least possible hazard to people, their assets, and the environment.

IPM is not a single pest control method but, rather a series or combination of different strategies to reduce and to manage pest at its minimum. For standard pest management practices following steps are being included:

Monitoring, Identification and setting a Threshold: Noticing a single pest does not always mean that control is needed. Firstly monitoring is done to take an idea of pest population if population is enough to cause economic loss (Threshold) then pest is identified to apply an appropriate pest control strategy.

Prevention: It includes Exclusion, Habitat Alteration and Sanitation. Sealing of cracks and crevices, penetration gaps or any other gap that allows a pest to access the building is the part of exclusion. Recommendations in regard to habitat modification or cultural behavior might include proper storage of food along with refuse and recyclable best practices, the importance of addressing moisture issues, spillage and cleaning up of environment are sanitation practices. These practices play the best role in IPM.

Control: Control regarding to pest are of two types.

Physical Control that is incorporation of nonchemical devices to monitor and assist in controlling pest populations. These items include snap traps, multiple catch traps, various insect monitors, animal cadge, rodent adhesion pads and insect light traps.

Chemical Control is least recommended in IPM strategies. Pesticides are used only when all other tactics fail to control pest population. Pesticide that is to be used should be biodegradable and environmental friendly.

Training: It is also an important part of pest management practices. Train staff and clients as well to make them aware of pest, its hazards, identification and about use of pesticides. Person who is to apply pesticides must have PPE’s, must read label and must be aware of its handling, storage and its disposal. Training of client is important to make them engage with your practices of pest control and it will make this job easy to do. Documentation of each and every activity is necessary in the field and it must be communicated with Client.

 

 

 

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IPM in Food Industry

IPM in Food Industry

pest

Pests are intrinsically drawn towards food following 20% food production losses during post-harvest practices, broadcast deadly diseases, nuisance, contamination of food and structural damage, all these factors making the food industry more vulnerable leading towards proper pest management to meet increasing food demand day by day, international food quality and quantity standards, keeping a positive bottom line and rock-solid reputation for products.

A combo of preventive and treatment practices should run side by side under the umbrella of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to prevent pest infestation losses because food areas are enriched with pest loving accommodations, have ample of sweet and nutritious food stock, so, single treatment will not give enough control due to plenty of breeding and food sources.

  • IPM program enhances the long-term stability of the assets and protection against pests.
  • Provide a long-term solution to the pest problem
  • Decreased use of chemical application
  • Reduces risks to the health of staff members.
  • Result in financial savings.

IPM involves the following steps:

  1. Inspection
  2. Monitoring
  3. Preventive Action
  4. Treatment
  5. Documentation

Inspection:

Inspection is done to identify the:

  • Type and number of actual and potential pests
  • Locate the possible entryways and gaps of building
  • Detailed inspection of interior and exterior building and all incoming supplies provides the sources of infestation.

Monitoring:

Monitoring is done by using traps to identify the intensity and distribution of pests in and around the building.

Preventive Actions:

Exclusion, Sanitation and Habitat Alteration a includes in preventive action.

Exclusion:

  • Performing structural maintenance to close potential entry points revealed during an inspection.
  • Caulking and sealing of gaps, screening the vents and exhausts, apply nylon door strips, apply Metal sheet injunctions of walls, floors, and ceilings.
  • Installing air curtains, air doors and strip curtains to the dock doors.

Sanitation:

  • Sanitation and housekeeping will reduce the potential food and water sources, ultimately reducing the breeding rate that eventually lowers the pest population.

Habitat Alteration:

This approach leads towards the modification or eliminating the possible habitat or shelter of a pest.

Treatment:

In food areas chemical treatment should least be preferred, so use:

  • Physical and Mechanical means like Heat & Cold-Water Treatment, Vacuuming, Insect Light Traps, Live Traps, Sticky Traps, Lure Traps, Glue Boards, Roach Pheromone Traps etc. They are safe, environment-friendly bio-degradable and less hazardous.
  • If the infestation is so high and running out of hands, then move towards location-suitable, pest-Gap fit treatment like Non-volatile Gel Baiting, Bait applied in Temper resistant Bait Stations, IRS, Fogging and Misting. Chemicals used in these tactics must be environment-friendly, biodegradable and less hazardous chemical treatment. Application, Storing and Mixing methods should follow International standards.

Documentation:

Installing of different devices, No. of each device installed, Trapping trend of pests, Replacement or adding of devices, Application, Frequency, Quantity, Time and form of application of Chemical against the specific pest, visits from pest management professionals should be documented as a record. It will help to pass Food Safety Audit also give a comprehensive data of pest visit trend and their control measures at a specific place.

 

                                                                                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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