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Neem and Predators

Neem and Predators

Neem has various useful effects on predators. The arthropod predator of mites include beetles, true bugs, flies. Predators are found throughout plants including underground as well as near trees and shrubs. Some predators are useful as they destroy insect pests. But, some prey even on beneficial insects as well as pests. Surveys of agricultural systems give an indication of the potential number and diversity of predators in a crop. For example,

  • Over 600 species of predators in 45 families of insects and 23 families of spiders and mites have been recorded in Arkansas cotton.
  • Eighteen species of predatory insects (not including spiders and mites) have been found in potatoes in the northeastern United States.
  • There may be thousands of predators per acre, in addition to many parasitoids. Although the impact of any one species of natural enemy may be minor, the combined impact of predators, parasitoids, and insect pathogens can be considerable.

Insect predators are commonly found in natural and agricultural habitats. All have different life cycle and habitats.

Major Characteristics of Arthropod Predators:
  • Adults and immatures are often generalists rather than specialists.
  • They generally are larger than their prey.
  • They kill or consume many prey.
  • Males, females, immatures, and adults may be predatory.
  • They attack immature and adult prey.
  • Relative Effectiveness.

Useful predators consumes pests during their developing phase. Some predators are more effective than the others. Some Predators provide late season control and appear late for late season control. Some predators have minor impact by themselves but have good impact overall in terms of pest mortality.

It has been found that neem oil has an effective negative effect on the hatching rate of coccinella septempunctata and chrysoperla carnea.

Neem is useful in conserving predators of insect pests. Very useful in coffee cultivation. For ages neem has been used as a pest repellent and has been used in soil amendment. Neem has been useful in regulating the living the living processes inside the coffee habitat. Every part of the tree has been well used.

The coffee farmer has two advantages with respect to Neem, namely availability of large quantities at a reasonable cost and secondly, since neem is available in areas surrounding plantation districts, the transportation cost is minimized.

Natural compounds in neem oil discourage feeding pests on treated plants. Neem breaks the reproductive cycle. Neem is non toxic to useful predators like ladybugs, spiders, bees and wasps.

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