The Pro Farmer

Pests’ tolerance to pesticides

During the growing season, at least 2 to 5 different insects and fungus, which I will specify later, will attack your plants, in different stages of the plant’s growth.

Some attack in early stages when the plant has only flowers, and some attack when it’s already mature with fruits.

In some cases, one spray cycle of a pesticide will be enough in order to get rid of the pest, but in many other cases, especially if you have a lot of plants, it won’t be enough and you will have to spray two, three times, or even more, against the same pest.

These upcoming spray cycles should be done with other kinds of pesticides, and not with the same pesticide you used the first time.

This is a fact that pests are developing tolerance, or resistance, towards pesticides very fast.

One of the key principles to cope with pests is the ability to understand that you need to spray different kinds of pesticides against the same pest, during the growing season.

Each pesticide works differently on the pest’s body.

Each pesticide is basically a poison that damages a different place in the pest’s breathing process or organ.

This is why it is recommended to possess at least two to four different pesticides against each pest.

Insects and fungus tend to produce a lot of offspring.                

They reach millions in a matter of a few weeks and that’s why the chance of a mutation is very high.

Mutation is a change in the DNA that causes a change in the body.

One mutation can carry the tolerance against the pesticide’s lethality.

So, using only one pesticide will eventually eradicate all the individuals, except the one that carries the mutation.

This one individual pest will start producing many generations of offspring that are all carrying this mutation and having tolerance to that specific pesticide, and are not affected by it.

This tolerance, which i describe here, is the reason farmers use an increasing quantity of pesticides, in order to protect their yield.

The pests simply won’t die, so they spray again and again.

They don’t follow this method and don’t use different pesticides.

By alternating between the pesticides, you minimize the chance that the individual that carries the mutation will survive.              

 Because if pesticide A won’t kill the pest, pesticides B or C will.

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