Organic pest management protects beneficial insects and promotes more natural pest control

May 18, 2020

Chemical control of pests using synthetic insecticides like neonicotinoids, organophosphates and pyrethroids can harm non-target insects such as  natural enemies to pests. A recent study published in Indian Journal of Entomology found that organic farming practices protect important insects, which in turn provided more natural pest control for the farmer. Researchers in New Delhi compared the impacts of organic versus conventional pest management on the control of a rice pest known as yellow stem borer (Scirpophaga incertulas). The study found that rice fields under organic management had fewer pests than conventional, and attributed it to more natural pest control by parasitoid wasps. These wasps parasitize the eggs of the yellow stem borer, which kills the eggs and halts the life cycle of the pest. Organic practices protect these parasitoids, allowing more natural pest control to occur. This makes pest management more economical for farmers, and also protects a vast range of beneficial organisms on the farm.