What is Biological Pest Control?
Man's use of a specially chosen living organism to control a particular pest is called Biological Control. The harmful pest may be attacked by a predator, parasite, or disease causing organism. Manipulating nature to control an organism can be done in a variety of ways. Biological control through this means can range from spraying a pesticide that will be least harmful to other beneficial insects, to releasing an insect to attack another.
Advantages of Biological Pest Control.
Disadvantages of Biological Pest Control.
The Three Main Approaches to Biological Control.
Biological control uses naturally occurring diseases, parasites and predators to control pests. There are three main ways to use these natural enemies against unwanted insect pest populations. Importation (Classical Biological Control) involves finding a natural enemy from the area the pest originated and introducing it to its new home to maintain the population. When pests find or are introduced to a new environment they leave their enemies behind, therefore with their natural enemies present it can reduce the amount of damage they do.
Augmentation is introducing a mass number of the natural enemy to the area being affected. Mass numbers can be produced in the lab or collected. This method relies on continual human management and is not a permanent solution like importation.
Conservation of natural enemies plays an important role in any biological control effort. Factors that could limit the effectiveness of a particular natural enemy need to be identified. These factors need to be changed to help the beneficial species. This involves either reducing factors which interfere with the natural enemies or providing needed resources that help them.
© 2000 Julie Vidic, Dan Shields and Bryan Pennix. All Rights Reserved, except for the images, which retain their own copyrights.
This site was designed by Julie Vidic, Dan Shields and Bryan Pennix for MBI 699.W in August of 2000.