Organic farming is an agricultural method of crop and livestock production that aims to work with nature, rather than against it.
It is an environmentally-friendly farming system that protects the ecological balance of ecosystems, sustains the health of soils and enhances biodiversity. Strict regulations are in place that define what farmers can and cannot do in order to be certified as organic.
Any food and drink sold in the EU must meet the standards specified in the EU Organic Regulation. Other certifying bodies – such as The Soil Association – have their own set of criteria that must be met before food can be licenced as organic for sale in the UK.
Pest control is, of course, as big an issue in organic farming as it is in non-organic farming. However, whereas non-organic food production makes wide use of pesticides which can harm the environment; in organic farming, such methods for pest management are not permitted.
Pest Problems on Organic Farms
Pest species represent a number of threats to the agricultural industry. Crop damage is perhaps the biggest concern. Invasive insects can cause injury to plants by eating leaves and burrowing holes in stems, fruits and roots, rendering them unfit for sale. They can also cause indirect damage to crops through the transmission of bacterial, viral or fungal infections. Rats and mice are also big problems. They can cause just as much damage to crops as insects, eating seeds, leaves, roots and even whole young plants as they scavenge for food.
Rats, mice and insects also pose a threat to finished products. Insect infestations can damage and contaminate products, leaving them unfit for human consumption and ultimately impacting a farm’s reputation and profitability. Similarly, rats and mice will happily infest barns and storage areas, gnawing through packaging to get to the foodstuffs inside and leaving a trail of urine and faeces on everything they come into contact with.
Rats and mice are also carriers of a large number of diseases that are harmful to humans. If left unchecked, a rodent infestation can have a serious negative impact on the economics of an organic farm when harvests may have to be destroyed due to health risks.
Rats and mice can also cause significant damage to machinery, equipment and vehicles. Their incisor teeth continue to grow throughout their whole lifespan and so must be worn down by gnawing hard materials such as wood, metal and masonry. These animals will even chew through electrical wiring and cables, posing a fire hazard and causing expensive damage to the machinery and equipment a farm relies upon.
While conventional farming methods would largely see infestations destroyed through the use of toxic chemicals, no such option is available to organic farmers. So, how are pests controlled in organic farming?
How Are Pests Controlled in Organic Farming?
A pest control strategy on an organic farm must take into consideration the fact that no harm to wildlife or the environment can be caused. As such, rodenticides cannot be used.
Organic Farm Pest Control from Baroque Pest Services
Pest control in organic farming is an ongoing activity. With methods for effective pest management limited, organic farmers need to work hand in hand with pest control specialists to ensure that their crops and livestock are protected against infestations in a manner that complies with rigid organic standards.
At Baroque Pest Services, we have over 30 years’ experience designing and implementing specialist pest control solutions for organic farms. Our services will ensure your crops, livestock, equipment, machinery, land and property are all protected against the persistent threat of pests in full compliance with organic standards.
Baroque Pest Services serves all kinds of industries including: Bars, Pubs, Cafés, Restaurants, Hotels and B&Bs, as well as Nursing Homes, Factories, Warehouses and Organic Farms.
Contact your local pest control specialist today for a free quotation.
Baroque (SW) Limited was a family business established in October 1988 based in Plymouth. Over 30 years Baroque grew to become the most well-known regional pest control company in the South West of England before joining forces with Safeguard Pest Control in August 2018. As part of the Safeguard family, customers continue to receive exceptional pest control, bird control and washroom services. Every customer is important to us and we take pride in providing a top quality, reliable service. Our emphasis is on serving the customer to the best of our ability and building a long-term relationship of mutual trust and friendship. We have service technicians local to all areas of the South West Counties, so our customers can receive a prompt service from a technician who is familiar with the area and premises. Our experienced office staff are available from 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday to answer any customer queries and give advice.