Intensive measures needed to protect beneficial insects
RAJSHAHI, July 16: Intensive measures and approach should be adopted to protect and conserve the beneficial insects in the greater interest of maintaining biodiversity and ecological balance.
Environmental scientists and other researchers concerned said the farmers destroy various species of the insects during the time of eliminating the destructive ones due to lack of adequate knowledge in this regard.
They viewed time has come to enlist the beneficial insects for natural pest control. Emphasis should be given on growing the right flowers to attract top 10 beneficial insects to the farming field and garden to minimize damage from aphids, caterpillars, flea beetles and other pests.
Prof Dr Bidhan Chandra Das of the Department of Zoology of Rajshahi University says all insects are not harmful for the crops but the chemical pesticides or insecticides are more or less endangered for both human health and other beneficial insects.
He, however, says the destructive as well as the injurious insects can easily be controlled through promoting eco-friendly method of using organic fertilizer and indigenous insecticides instead of chemical ones.
One of the best ways to control pests in cropping fields is to encourage their natural enemies. Planting pollen and nectar plants, and providing protection for these beneficial insects, is a basic tenet of organic gardening, and a way to further increase the ecological diversity of your yard.
"We've listed the most common beneficial insects along with tips on attracting them to field," he added.
Importance should be given on conservation of eco-friendly insects and laid stress on successful promotion of biological pest management system in the agro-fields.
"So, we have to devise ways and means of controlling the harmful pest in hygienic way instead of direct poisoning." He said insects are most valued in conservation for their ecological roles and observed that terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems would not work without insects.
The farmers should be imparted practical training on how to identify the insects whether it is beneficial or not.
Prof Bidhan Das said priority should be given to some major issues like collection, preservation and identification of economically important insect fauna in Bangladesh in order to significant development in agriculture, forestry, human health, livestock, wildlife and environment.
Prof Khalequzzaman, former director of RU Institute of Biological Sciences, termed the insect conservation scenario in Bangladesh as
frustrating which is detrimental to the whole ecosystem.
He says the modern and eco-friendly dissemination policies should be developed so that the rural people would be inspired to conserve one of the most important groups of natural resources in the country.
The familiar round, orange spotted ladybug is just one of more than 400 species of lady beetles found in the country. Most ladybug adults and larvae feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Adults are attracted to flower nectar and pollen, which they must eat before they can reproduce.
Dr Redwanur Rahman, associate professor of Institute of Environmental Sciences of the RU, said bio-pest management system should be promoted among the growers to protect the beneficial insects from degradation for the sake of maintaining a sound environment that is very important for a sound ecosystem. —BSS