What are mechanical pest controls?
Another element of IPM, mechanical pest control includes any physical or hands-on control methods. Mechanical control is most valuable when you have acute pest problems- when pests are abundant enough that you can quickly remove or kill a large number.
If you are also employing a biological control, it will probably be most efficient to use a mechanical method to remove the worst of the pest population, then release biocontrol agents. As usual, you should consider how mechanical controls will work with your other IPM strategies.
Three goals of mechanical pest controls
Goal 1: Exclusion
Another exclusion method is use of a mesh screen around plants or garden beds. If you grow in a greenhouse, you already have an exclusion method in place: your greenhouse walls. However: don’t sink into a false sense of security- insect pests are sneaky! Your greenhouse will keep many insects out, but a few will find their way in, and as per the cruel humor of nature, the two insects that find their way in will be a fertile male and female with ambitions of setting a Guinness world record for most eggs laid. The bottom line is: don’t rely on your greenhouse walls to keep out pests altogether.
Goal 2: Destruction
Destruction methods are unique to the pest and the situation (and whether you mind getting slug guts on your hands). Use your imagination! And if you can’t figure anything out, recruit some young boys to kill some insects for you.
Goal 3: Removal
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