Biopesticides are microbe, microbial products and plant products and to certain extent some biochemicals that control pests by natural means based on the principle of biological control. Biopesticides are very important to gradually remove the ill effects of the continuous use of chemical pesticides. They help in achieving the goals of sustainable agriculture.
Types of Biopesticides
Biopesticides are basically 3 types;
- Microbial biopesticides
- Botanical biopesticides
- Biochemical biopesticides
Certain Microbes like bacteria, Viruses, fungi or their products act efficiently against a variety of insect pest and their caterpillars. The most widely used biopesticide in the world is Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT). The special endotoxins of BT are found to be effective in controlling many insect pests their larvae and also fungi. Other bacteria that can caused are Bacillus popilliae, Bacillus lentimorbus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, etc.
Next to bacteria, Baculor Viruses help in controlling many arthropod pests.
Example: Entomopox Virus, Granulosis Virus, etc.
Certain fungi like Trichoderma and Trichogramma which attack the pest and destroy them using Mycotoxins (fungal toxin) also proved to be efficient biopesticides.
Plant products with insecticide and pesticide properties are called botanical biopesticides.
Example: Nimbidin of Neem extract, Pyrethrin of Chrysanthemum, etc.
In addition, it is found that bougainvillea have antiviral properties and jatropha with extreme pest resistance.
The sex pheromones of insects can be used to cure and trap insect pest special pheromone traps have been already developed in controlling insect pest like locust.
Uses of Biopesticides
- Biopesticides are used as right alternatives to chemical pesticides in effectively controlling various pests. Since the use of biopesticides is based on the principle of biological control. They do not cause any harm to soil or any other living organism.
- The use of chemical pesticides results in accumulation of residues in the soil damaging the soil micro life and also contaminating ground water. Such problems are not associated with life the use of biopesticides.
- Biomagnification is the major fallout of the use of chemical pesticides resulting in the accumulation of the residues in organism present at higher tropic level in the food chains like man and wild animals.
- The use of chemical pesticides is harmful to the health of farmers. Sometimes leading to cancers, miscarriages and sterility. Such problems are not associated with the use of biopesticides.
- When used along with biofertilizers, biopesticides can help in achieving the goals of sustainable agriculture.
Due to the above merits biopesticides are good alternatives to the chemical pesticides.