THE ARTHROPOD PREDATORS AND INSECT PEST CONTROL


 THE ARTHROPOD PREDATORS AND INSECT PEST CONTROL 

 ABSTRACT

Insect pests are those insect species that are injurious or a nuisance. They cause injury or damage to crops in the field and grains in storage. Man and his domesticated animals are also attacked by insect pests. Arthropod predators belong to the phylum Arthropoda and are most times beneficial in the control of insect pests. Arthropod predators are members of the phylum Arthropoda which capture and feed on the prey. They are generally larger than their prey and kill or consume many prey during their life time. Examples of arthropod predators include the lady beetles, spiders, praying mantids, damsel bugs, lace wings, syrphid flies etc.  They can feed on insect pests like aphids, moths, mites, butterflies, brown plant hoppers etc. These arthropod predators have been very effective in some cases of biological control programes of insect pests. Examples include the use of the cocinellid beetle, Radolia cardinalis (a lady bird beetle) to control the cottony-cushion scale, Icerya purchasi (a scale insect) which was a citrus pest in carlifornia, U.S.A. also wolf spiders have been effectively used to control the rice pest (the brown plant hoppers) in Indonesia.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Title page ………………………………………………………………….i

Certification …………………………………………………………….iii

Dedication ……………………………………………………………….iv

Acknowledgment……………………………………………………...v

Table of contents ……………………………………………………….vi

Abstract ………………………………………………………………...viii

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction …………………………………………………………….1

CHAPTER TWO

Insect pests …………………………………………………………….3

CHAPTER THREE

3.0 Arthropod  predators  …………………………………………..6

3.1 characteristic of arthropod predators ……………………..8

3.2 Types of arthropod predators ……………………………….8

3.2.1 Lady beetles ……………………………………………………..8

3.2.2 Lace wings ……………………………………………………….10

3.2.3 Praying mantids ……………………………………………….11

3.2.4 Syrphid flies ……………………………………………………13

3.2.5 Damsel bugs…..………………………………………………..14

3.2.6 Ground beetles …………………………………..……………14

3.2.7 Spiders ……………………………………………………………15

CHAPTER FOUR

4.0 Effectiveness of arthropod predators in the control of insect pests  …………………………………………………….17

4.2 Conclusion ………………………………………………………18

References ………………………………………………………19

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION 

Arthropod species occur from below the soil surface to the tree canopy. However, only a small fraction are observed on a frequent basis because many are microscopic or hidden below ground or plant tissue.  Very few species are classified as pest. Whether they feed on plants or plant produce invade our homes, inflict painful bites or stings. Infect most insects and other arthropods are beneficial and serve a variety of important functions in the garden. The abundance of beneficial insects especially predators is often limited in urban landscapes because these environments typically are characterized by disturbance. Disturbance factors include use of pesticides and other chemicals, air pollution and wind-borne dust, all of which may increase mortality of beneficial arthropods. Residential landscapes often lack adequate amounts of essential resources such as food, nesting sites and shelter than enhance reproduction and survival of natural enemies. Some common strategies are employed to conserve them in residential landscapes and these strategies may help reduce insecticide use and improve plant health by enhancing natural control of arthropod pests.

Because many arthropod pests are exotic the aim of classical biological control is to reduce pest numbers by reuniting old enemies through importation of predators from the area of insect pest origin. Lady beetles, green lace wings and spiders are familiar examples of predator arthropods inhibiting residential landscapes and gardens. In general, predators are larger than their prey, consume many prey items during their life time and feed on a broad range of species immature and/or adults may be predatory and often do not leave behind any evidence of attack.

However, these arthropod predators often help to keep aphids, spider mites, caterpillars and other insect pests under control. 

1.2 Statement of the problem

Insects came on this earth about 250 million years ago, whereas human beings appear only one million years back, so in the real sense, human beings are competitors of insects and not the reverse (Parabhoi, Sahu, & Kumari, 2017). But as the human being sits at the top of the evolutionary ladder, his life is effectively superior to that of any other organism, and in that sense, the insects become competitors. A pest is an organism whose activity causes it to be inimical to the welfare of humans. Of the approximate total of 8 million insects, roughly 2% constitute the pests, is the remainder being either useful or harmless (Parabhoi, Sahu, & Kumari, 2017). But these 2% insects are responsible for a crop loss of 10-15%. World food and fiber losses caused by pests (principally insect pathogens and weeds) are estimated to be about 40% of which 15% are attributable to insects and mites.(Parabhoi, Sahu, & Kumari, 2017).

One of the many challenges farmers confront is the effect of insect pest. The presence of insect pest can be inimical to the outcome of farm produce. One of the numerous effect of insect pest on crops is the growth limitation it places on the crops. This situation defeats the farmers organic and inorganic crop growth methods. Other effects of insects pest include reduction of in output of farm produce and spoilages experience by farmers. Arthropods prey on insect pest and act as a control mechanism for insect pest. However, in Makurdi Benue state, the rate of arthropods predators are yet to be determined, this study seeks to fill this gap. More so, this study will determine the advantage of arthropods and the relationship between arthropods predators and the control of insect pests.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The primary goal of this study is to examine the influence of arthropod predators in the control of insect pest. Specifically, the study sought to

Examine the rate of Arthropods predators in farmlands.

Investigate the advantage of arthropod predators to farmers.

Examine the relationship between the existence of arthropod predators and control of insect pests.

1.4 Research questions

What is the rate of arthropod predators in farmlands in Makurdi?

What is the advantage of arthropod predators incidence to crop farmers?

Is there a relationship between the incidence of arthropods predators and insect pest control?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

There is no significant relationship between the incidence of arthropod predators and insect pest control.

1.6 Significance of the study

This study is carried out to explore the phenomenon of arthropod predators and insect pest control. It is advantageous to the farmer as it educates the farmers on the positives associated with arthropods predators. Economically, the study is helpful as it allows scientists to leverage on the positives of arthropods predators to invent or develop insect pest control methods. Also, this study is a contribution to the numerous studies on insect pest control in Zoology and it is an academic source for further researches.

1.7 Scope of the study

This study is focused on insect pest control and the target audience is the farmers. This is because farmers encounter insect pest often and are the most affected by insect pest. Also, the study will focus on farmers in Makurdi,Benue state. Further studies can expand the study to accommodate farmers from Makurdi.

1.8 Limitation of the study

The focus on farmers only is a limitation for this study. This is because beyond farmers, other categories of people in the society are affected by the activities of insect pest. More so, this study is limited by time. This is as the researcher had hard time collecting information from farmers in which some respondents were not willing to divulge.

1.9 Definition of terms

Insect: Insects are pancrustacean hexapod invertebrates and the largest group within the arthropod phylum.

Pest: a destructive insect or other animal that attacks crops, food, livestock, etc.

Control: the ability to minimize the effect of one thing over another.

Arthropods: An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and paired jointed appendages.

Predators: an animal that naturally preys on others

2.0   INSECT PESTS  

The concise oxford dictionary of the English language define pest as a troublesome or destructive person, or things. Williams [1947] states that an insect pest is any pest in the wrong place. The classification of an insect as a pest is a subjective one based on its potential damage to human purposes or natural habitats and eco-system. Insect pests are said to be able to kill agricultural crops, ornamental plants etc. They can also consume and damage harvested food and also cause illness or unproductively in agricultural animals e.g. Cattle and vector as larvae while they may be pollinators in adulthood. Some insects that are considered as pests are actually more beneficial than pestiferous for example wasps predate or parasitize many insects. An insect pest may cause injury which may be physical (bites and stings)  or medical (causing diseases or illness) or economic (monetary lose of goods or properties). Injury may arise directly from the pest itself or may develop indirectly as a result of the actions or behavior of the pest. Insect pest affects us in one way or the other in the following ways:

They are an annoyance or nuisance e.g. cockroaches They endanger human health or safety They threaten the welfare of useful plants or domestic animals They damage stored products or structural materials.

Although insect pest attract the most attention many insects are beneficial to the environment and to humans. Some insects like wasps, bees, butterflies, and ants pollinate flowering plants. Insect pests can be controlled by the use of pesticides, sterilization, destruction of infected plant, traps, hunting, field burning, poisoned bait and biological control. Insect can cause damage directly by their feeding or making shelters or indirectly by other means. The direct method includes chewing of plants e.g. grasshoppers caterpillars, root chewing beetle larvae and piercing ant sucking which is the direct removal of plants sap or animal blood e.g. aphids, mites, bed bugs, lice, vegetable bugs e.t.c. while the indirect method can be through vectors e.g. plants viruses and bacteria transmitted via aphids and leafhoppers, malaria e.t.c.

 

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THE ARTHROPOD PREDATORS AND INSECT PEST CONTROL



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