Agricultural Science

Pests of Agricultural importance and Crops Attacked

len Alfred Ajibola - Tue, 19th March, 2019 @ 21:40: PM

Topics in Agricultural Science

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Academic Questions in Agricultural Science

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

A female chicken less than one year old is referred to as a _____.

  • A. Poult
  • B. Pullet
  • C. Poulta
  • D. Chicken
  • E. Hen
  • F. Fowl

Small plants that grow via vegetative propagation from the parent plants are called _____.

  • A. Child Plants
  • B. Crop Plants
  • C. Plant Crops
  • D. Croplets
  • E. Plantlets
  • F. Progeny

The female part of the flower comprising the stigma, style and ovary is the _____.

  • A. Ovule
  • B. Androecium
  • C. Stamen
  • D. Petal
  • E. Sepal
  • F. Pistil

Which of the following food is best preserved through pasteurization?

  • A. Rice
  • B. Beans
  • C. Coconut
  • D. Meat
  • E. Milk
  • F. Tomatoes

The total number of parasites that are present in a host organism is termed  _____.

  • A. Parasite
  • B. Parasite Count
  • C. Parasite Number
  • D. Parasite Load
  • E. Parasite Value
  • F. Parasite Figure

All plants are crops.


What are Pests?

With regards to agriculture and plants, a pest is any organism that can attack plant and agricultural produce, rendering them unsuitable for harvest and unfit for the market.

Pest can adversely affect a plant's seed, root, stem, leaf and flower thereby largely reducing the overall quality of harvested fruits and vegetables.

Note: Generally, a pest can cause physical damage to humans, animals and crops.

Please read on the Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria here.

An organism will be considered a pest if it does one of the followings:

  • Attack crop plants and eat it's seeds, roots, stem, leaves and flowers. Examples are Locust and grasshoppers.
  • Cause damage to stored food, fruits or other agricultural produce. Some may even urinate or deaficate on these products. Examples are rodents and mice.
  • Attack and kill farm animals like goats, sheep and cattle. Examples are foxes, wild cats and snakes.
  • Act as disease vectors. (A vector is an organism that carries parasite and other disease causing organisms, without being affected; but when they introduce the parasites into their host, such host becomes infected with disease). Examples of vectors are rodents and mosquitoes.
    Please read more on Vectors of Diseases here.


Examples of crop pest

Below are some examples of crop pests:

1. Insects: Based on their mode of feeding, insect pest can be put into:

  • Biting and chewing insects: Examples are grasshoppers, termites, army worms, beetles and locusts
  • Piercing and Sucking insects: Examples are aphids, white flies, mealy bugs and cotton strainers.
  • Boring insects: Examples are weevil species and stem borers.

2. Rodents

3. Monkey

4. Birds

5. Nematodes

6. Man

Please read on Micro-organisms causing Food, Water and Air Borne Diseases here.


Crops attacked by Pests

Below is a summary of crops and the pest that attack them:

  1. Maize: Maize weevils, birds, African black beetles, stem borers, greasy cut worm and army worms.
  2. Cereals: Drugstore beetle, several weevil specie (rice weevil, maize weevil), confused flour beetle, red flour beetle, birds, saw toothed beetle, merchant grain beetle, rodents, several Aphids species and wheat bug.
  3. Beans: Bean weevil, seedcorn maggots, leafhoppers, aphids and spider mites.
  4. Cotton: Cotton bollworm, plant bugs, cotton strainers, thrips, stink bugs, spider mites and aphids.
  5. Groundnut: Red hairy caterpillar, jassids, aphids, snails, spodoptera and several thrips specie.
  6. Sorghum: Corn earworms, sorghum webworms, sorghum sidge weevils, stink bugs, fall armyworms and aphids.

Note: Cereals include crops like rice, maize or corn, Barley, millet, sorghum and oats.

Please read more on Agricultural Pest (with Tabular illustration) here.


Economic importance / Effects of crop pest

  1. They reduce the quality of crop produce.
  2. They make fruits and vegetables unattractive thus reducing their sales value.
  3. They destroy crops and plants.
    Please read on Differences between Plants and Crops here.

  4. Some act as disease vectors, thus indirectly causing diseases.
  5. They directly cause diseases which may lead to complete death of crop plants.


Prevention and control of pest

1. Physical Control: This process involves the physical removal of pest from crop plants via various techniques such as:

  • Hand picking.
  • Setting of traps to catch rats and other rodents.
  • Fencing the farmland.
  • Use of guns to kill monkeys.

Please read on Agricultural Tools/Machineries and their Uses here.

2. Biological Control: This method of pest control require the use of animals or other organisms to eliminate pest. For instance, placing hen or chickens in farmland to eat insects.

3. Chemical Control: This involves the use of chemicals to control pest. These chemicals can take different forms (liquid, powdered and granular forms).

Chemical control of pest involves the use of:

  • Pesticides: Generally used to kill pests.
  • Insecticides: kills insects.
  • Fungicides: kill fungi.
  • Avicides: kills bird.
  • Rodenticides: kills rodents.
  • Nematicides: kills nematodes.

4. Cultural Control: This method requires the application of various farm practices to control pest. These farm practices includes

  • Crop rotation
  • Bush fallowing
  • Regular weeding
  • Use of disease resistant seeds
  • Timely harvesting
  • Timely planting

Please read on various Agricultural Terms and Meanings here.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

Amazing facts in Agricultural Science

Although plants neither see nor hear, they can recognize their siblings and even give them preferential treatments 🤔

Squirrels do plant more 🌲 trees 🌲 (through their actions) than an average human in their lifetime. They often hide their acorns and nuts underground and forget about them 😁

🐄 Cows 🐄 have got the ability to walk up stairs, but not down stairs

A group of cows 🐄 🐄 🐄  is called a team, drove or herd.

People just prefer to call them herd

NOTABLE POINTS IN Agricultural Science

There are about 630 different kinds of carnivorous plants.

Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients by consuming small animals, especially insects.

Carnivorous plants are also referred to as insectivorous plants.

Some example of carnivorous plants include sundew and Venus flytrap.

Please read more on Carnivorous Plants here