Natural Pest Control Techniques in Agriculture

Pest invasion has a significant impact on crop productivity. And to fight it, many farmers use environmentally damaging, chemically and synthetically based pest control techniques. Natural pest control techniques can be used to avert this undesirable damage and improve crop yield. Here we look at natural, environment-friendly pest control techniques in agriculture.


Pesticides are chemicals sprayed on plants to eradicate pests. Both manufactured chemicals and natural substances can be used for this purpose. Chemical pesticides, however, are dangerous in a variety of ways. They are artificially constructed from chemicals, and even helpful insects are affected by them. They may kill natural pollinators such as honey bees.

Chemical pesticides pollute the environment and leave behind lingering effects. Many human diseases, including cancer, neurological problems, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, headaches, vomiting, and depression, are brought on by these chemical residues that infiltrate the food chain and inhibit the immune system.

It’s interesting to note that bugs get resistant to insecticides over time and grow more numerous. For instance, DDT was effectively used to eliminate mosquitoes in the middle of the 20th century, but over time, mosquitos evolved and became resistant to this chemical. Overuse of DDT led to widespread contamination. It has significantly impacted birds and penetrated the human food chain. Later, the substance was outlawed because of its harmful consequences.

Farmers in modern agriculture heavily rely on chemical pesticides to boost productivity. These insecticides are hazardous and disrupt the ecology. In response, more and more people are choosing organic food cultivated naturally without pesticides to avoid the negative health consequences of chemicals.

What are natural pest control techniques?

Chemical use has been found to affect both people and the environment negatively. Therefore, it is necessary to eliminate pests using natural means. These are the best pest control techniques because they are secure and cause less harm. They are economical and farmer-friendly methods. No single pest management technique has been proven to eradicate pests completely. Cultural practices and mechanical methods can be used to control pests naturally in several ways. Additionally, organic pesticides can help in the management of these pests. Natural pesticides are made entirely from natural ingredients and don’t contain any artificial chemicals.

There are several natural ways to control pests. Several of these techniques include:

  • Preparing the land
  • Choosing the crop
  • Monitoring the physical conditions, such as the temperature and the planting time
  • Using certified seeds
  • Using resistant varieties
  • Manipulating watering conditions
  • Revolving crops
  • Using “trap crops”
  • Removing the pests by hand
  • Pruning the plants
  • Using traps, nets, or any other barriers to control pests mechanically
  • Using biological approaches for pest control
  • Using homemade or natural insecticides

Preparing the land

Before planting, deep summer threshing is necessary to aerate the soil, activate beneficial bacteria present in the earth, and eliminate weeds and hidden pests. Plowing helps get rid of soil-dwelling eggs, pupas, and small insects.

Proper crop selection

The crop should be carefully chosen based on the local climate and the field’s physical characteristics. This would lessen the likelihood of a pest attack. For example, citrus plants are substantially more vulnerable to pests in sandy soil and wet circumstances.


Pest activity is reduced by temperature because it renders them inert. Pests can be eliminated using high temperatures through methods such as steam sterilization of greenhouses, hot water treatment of bulbs, and hot air treatment of warehouses.

Season of sowing

The time of planting can affect insect management. For instance, planting mustard early can help prevent aphid attacks.

Using certified seeds

Most farmers plant seeds taken from past harvests. Over time, though, they might be infected and start to draw pests. To prevent any harm, pest-free seeds should be used as planting material. Certified seeds guarantee pure, high-quality material.

Resistant varieties

Utilizing pest-resistant cultivars will lessen pest attacks. Resistant varieties are available for important crops.



Water is a potent element for getting rid of bugs. Pests living in the soil are submerged by flooding water in the fields and carried away by the water. Flooding can help eliminate pests that live in the ground, like cutworms and white grubs.  Pests can be eradicated by thoroughly washing vegetable and fruit crops. Depending on the plant’s resilience, cleaning the leaves and stem with water can be accomplished by attaching a nozzle to the water pipe. This approach helps get rid of whiteflies, mealybugs, and aphids.

A shampoo and water solution can also be used in gardens to repel ants and mealybugs. Simply mix 2 to 3 ml of any shampoo with 1 liter of water. Mist it on the leaves and other plant parts early in the morning or late at night. Later, wash the stems and leaves.

Rotating crops

Crop rotation is one of the best strategies for avoiding pests. When similar crops are continuously sown in the same fields, pests are drawn to them. They will then multiply quickly and heavily infest the crop. Therefore, different crops should be sown in the field during each succeeding sowing time. For example, after the Solanaceous family plants (potato, brinjal, and tomato) have been harvested, crops from the Malvaceae or Brassicaceae families should be cultivated.

Crop rotation can be planned based on the nutrients different plants add to the soil. Beans, peas, groundnuts, alfalfa, and other legumes work very well to fix nitrogen in the soil. Therefore, these should be planted first, and once harvested, they should be rotated with leafy vegetables. Leafy vegetable aid in using extra nitrogen in the soil (help in vegetative growth). Change the green vegetables for grains, fruit, or vegetable crops, such as millet, corn, watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. This is the best crop rotation strategy.

Trap crops

This is an excellent method to keep pests from infesting the main crop. A trap crop is planted in a small area around the main crop to deter pests from harming the principal crop. The trap crop is chopped and destroyed when the pests invade it.

Manually picking and destroying pests

Eggs, larvae, and pupae of pests can be immediately identified, and they should be removed and destroyed regularly. Examples include aphids, cutworms, mealybugs, lemon butterfly eggs, mustard sawfly grubs, and all stages of the Epilachna beetle.

Crop residue destruction and pruning

Unhealthy plants and infested sections should be removed and destroyed to stop an infestation from spreading to other plants. Burning is required for diseased crop remnants. For example, pruning citrus trees in April and May reduces the number of shoot borers on them.

Using mechanical traps

Nets: Covering the crop with nets will protect it from pest invasion. Nets are used to cover the nursery of tomato and chili plants to prevent virus transfer from whiteflies. Pomegranates are shielded from Anar butterflies by being wrapped in cloth or butter paper.

Sticks or thorns: These gears are used to deter animal attacks. To keep monkeys away from coconut trees, thorny plants are put around them.

Sticky traps: They are used to capture insects. Aphids, whiteflies, and some moths are drawn to sticky yellow traps.

Light trap: Adult moths are drawn to light traps. An electric bulb or lamp can be used as a trap. A plate smeared with oil or a basin filled with soap and water is used to catch the insects.

Making noise: Monkeys and wild elephants can be managed by making loud noises and shaking the trees.

Biocontrol techniques

This approach is becoming very popular. By protecting natural enemies of pests and releasing them, the pest population is greatly reduced. These helpful predators prey on crop pests to cut down on their population.

When Epipyropsis pupae become adults, they attack the Pyrilla pest of the sugarcane crop. When the crop has been harvested, these Pupae shouldn’t be thrown away. Ladybird beetles are released to control aphids. Bacillus thuringiensis is efficient against a variety of larvae, including pets in sugarcane and cabbage worms. Ducks are utilized in the rice crop to combat striped pests.

Using natural pesticides

Pests can be controlled by using natural insecticides such as neem oil and Diatomaceous earth (used against slugs, maggots, flies, or rodents). Neem oil is particularly effective against pests. It serves as a deterrent and antifeedant and prevents egg laying, mating, or even flying o the pests. It works well against a variety of pests, including Powdery mildew, tobacco caterpillars, brown planthoppers, and green leafhoppers in rice.

Preparing organic pesticides

Organic insecticides are used to minimize pest attacks. These compounds can be produced at home. They can be employed to eliminate garden pests, particularly in crops of fruits and vegetables. They work well on aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, caterpillars, and other pests.

Here are some examples of organic insecticides that can be produced at home:

Soap nut pesticide

  • You can use any mild soap, such as dishwasher soap, soap, detergent, etc., against silky-textured insects such as caterpillars and larvae.
  • Break a couple of soap nuts with your hands.
  • Soak the nuts for 24 hours in hot water.
  • Strain it, then gather the solution.

Chrysanthemum pesticide

  • Pyrethrin, an alkaloid found in chrysanthemums, paralyzes insects and serves as an insect repellent.
  • Add chrysanthemums to some hot water (the dried flower is ideal).
  • After 24 hours, strain it, then gather the solution.

Spice-infused insecticide

  • Take some ginger, garlic, and green chilies.
  • Mix them up into a fine paste.
  • Add the paste to hot water and leave it for 24 hours.
  • Strain it, then gather the solution.
smart farming

Tobacco pesticide

  • Add tobacco to some hot water.
  • Give it a 24-hour break.
  • Strain the solution after it turns a dark color and collects the solution.

A neem-based pesticide

  • This is regarded as the best pesticide for getting rid of pests.
  • Collect and boil neem leaves.
  • Give it a 24-hour break.
  • Strain it, then collect the solution.
  • Dilute this pesticide in a 1:10 ratio with water before use (1 part of pesticide with ten parts of water).
  • Fill a spray bottle with it, and spray it carefully on the infected areas and under the leaves.


Test the impact of the pesticides on a tiny area of the plant before using it. This is called the patch test. When applying these pesticides, do it in the morning or evening. Neem plus soap nuts (or any detergent) or spices plus neem are two pesticide combinations that work better than one.

Bottom Line

The widespread use of chemical pesticides has harmed the ecosystem and human life. It is time to replace artificial pesticides with natural pest management in agriculture. This would be a long-term, sustainable solution that would benefit the environment. This approach will also contribute to better agriculture productivity and human health.

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