Crop rotation is a valuable cultural method of reducing insect and disease problems, but many gardeners do not have enough space to implement this practice. Once established, pests become part of the environment. They affect and are affected, both directly and indirectly, by every practice that occurs in their environments. Controlling pests by changing living habits or the environment is known as cultural control.
Many cultural practices can be manipulated to the detriment of pests. Making the environment less favourable to the survival and reproduction of pests is the goal of cultural pest control. In urban buildings, sanitation is often the most important cultural control. These methods aim to reduce sources of inoculum or reduce exposure of plants to infection.
Its main purpose is the prevention of pest damage, and not the destruction of an existing and harmful pest population. Cultural controls are practices that reduce the establishment, reproduction, spread and survival of pests. For example, crop rotation (replacing a susceptible crop with a less susceptible crop) and changing irrigation practices (less watering) can reduce root and weed diseases. Pest spread can be limited by routinely inspecting, cleaning, and disinfecting equipment, transport vehicles, and other materials that could transfer pests from one site to another.
Evidence of biological control efforts has existed since ancient times and significant control was achieved through the introduction of biological controls in the early 20th century. The most important advantage is that biological control methods can be less hazardous, both to humans and to the environment. For example, replacing whole-room treatments or even baseboards with applications for cracks and crevices is a way to attack pesticides on buildings and structures. As mentioned, specific nanoformulations also provide a controlled release or targeted biodistribution system.
This is not surprising, since pesticides are largely non-selective and are as lethal to 99.9% of insect species that are beneficial or neutral with respect to humans, as to 0.1% that are pests; and the most correctly applied pesticide still does not reach its target. However, with the introduction of modern synthetic chemical insecticides, especially during the second half of the 20th century, biological control became a largely forgotten science. I) plant nutrition can influence the diet, longevity and fecundity of phytophagous pests; common fertilizer elements (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) can have direct and indirect effects on pest suppression. Efforts should be made to avoid damage and stress to plants, and also overfertilization, thus preventing the crop from being particularly attractive and susceptible to pests.
The application of nanotechnologies is an excellent alternative to improve the profile of existing pesticidal agents. Time can be used to allow young plants to settle into a tolerant stage before attack occurs, to reduce the period susceptible to attack, to ripen the crop before the pest becomes abundant, to allow it to compensate for damage and fill the gaps where plants have been damaged or killed, and to prevent egg-laying period of a particular pest. By anticipating insect problems before they occur, control techniques avoid or minimize the impact of the pest on the crop. However, the term organic gardening has different meanings between different individuals, so a synthetically manufactured fertilizer or pesticide may be objectionable to one organic gardener but acceptable to another.
Pesticides have been shown to have the opposite consequences of their intended use if they kill natural controls that keep a pest population at bay. Insect pests are usually controlled naturally by arthropods and beneficial diseases, which can moderate or often prevent outbreaks of pest populations. .