Throughout the earth, farmers have relied on various methods to control pests. Insecticides, companion planting and preventative pest control are just a few. While they all do their job, a newer pest control method has emerged on the scene — solar power pest control. These methods use the energy from the sun to ward off pests.
Pest control is essential for all farmers. If a pest invades their crops, they can lose valuable profits, not to mention labor hours that go into sowing and harvesting crops.
In regions where the heat is oppressive, like Kenya and Kallara, farmers have difficulty controlling pests. The heat attracts insects, and without the use of pesticides, farmers will experience damage to their crops. Farming is truly a way of life for many farmers worldwide, so any loss due to pests or other circumstances is difficult for them to face.
As technology advances, farmers and innovators are finding new ways to improve their farms. Farmers harvesting solar power for pest control have seen firsthand the benefits of using the sun rather than pesticides or other chemicals.
Impact of Chemical Pesticides
Chemical pesticides have been used for years as a way to control pests. Between insects, rodents and other wildlife, pests can do a ton of damage to a farm. Insects might bring deadly diseases to crops, and rodents or larger wildlife may view vegetable fields as a free food source. If farming is your way of livelihood, then you know the importance of deterring pests.
However, chemical pesticides are not the most environmentally-friendly nor effective way to get rid of pests. They pollute the soil, water, air and other vegetation. While they do a relatively good job at mitigating pests, they can be extremely toxic to other natural elements.
Additionally, they are harmful to human health. Humans have experienced short-term and long-term effects, such as eye and skin irritation, damage to the nervous system or even cancer.
Thankfully, farmers have adopted other pest control methods that don’t involve harmful pesticides, including solar power.
One of the ways in which farmers are using solar power for pest control is through agrovoltaics. Agrovoltaics involves implementing solar panels on farms. The farm’s dual-use allows farmers to have two streams of income — one from their crops or livestock and the other from generating electricity. Solar panels are placed above fields, high enough for vegetation to grow or animals to graze beneath.
Many farmers who integrate solar panels on their farms in this way allow native plants to grow beneath the panels. This allows beneficial insects to pollinate nearby crops. Additionally, these beneficial insects act as a natural pest repellent. Plus, the solar panels protect those native crops, so they’re a lasting and effective pest control solution.
Solar Light Traps
A newer method of pest control using solar power is the integration of solar light traps. During the day, the solar lights harness energy from the sun to power them at night. It’s a reasonably low-cost technology that has proven effective, especially for those insects like flies, termites, beetles and others that flock to light.
The solar light traps include a stand, a vessel for the insects, a solar panel and LED light. After the solar panel charges throughout the day, the light comes on for a few hours each night. This attracts the insects, and they fall into the vessel and die. Beneficial insects’ lives are spared since the lights go off at a particular hour. It is much more environmentally-friendly than insecticides.
Solar Power Is Used for More Than Generating Electricity
The sun has provided people with warmth, life, energy and now, it is an eco-friendly way to eliminate pests on farms. As agrovoltaics and solar light traps increase in popularity, farmers will experience a multitude of advantages when controlling pests.
Jane is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co and an environmental writer covering green technology, sustainability and environmental news.