Biological control is a method of controlling pests such as insects, mites, weeds and plant disease using other organisms. It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natural mechanisms, but typically also involves an active being management role. It can be an important component of integrated pest management (IPM) programs.Redmond pest control company
There are three basic biological pest control strategies: importation (traditional biological control), augmentation and protection.
Importation or classical biological control involves the introduction of a pest’s natural enemy to a new locale where they do not occur naturally. Early instances were often illegal and not based on study, and some introduced species became serious pests themselves.
To be most effective at controlling a nuisance, a biological control agent requires a colonizing ability which allows it to keep pace by the spatial and worldly disruption of the habitat. Control is greatest if the agent has temporal persistence, so that it can preserve its population even in the temporary absence of the target species, and if it is an opportunistic forager, enabling it to rapidly exploit a bother population.
Joseph Needham noted a Chinese text dating from 304 AD, Account of the Plants and Plants of the Southern Regions, by Hsi Han, which describes mandarin oranges protected by great reddish-yellow citrus ants which attack and kill bug pests of the orange trees. The citrus ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) was rediscovering in the 20th century, and since 1958 has been used in China to protect orange groves.
One of the initial successes in the west was in controlling Icerya purchasi (cottony cushion scale) in Australia, using a predatory pest Rodolia cardinalis (the vedalia beetle). This achievement was repeated in California using the beetle and a parasitoid soar, Cryptochaetum iceryae.
Prickly pear cacti were introduced into Queensland, Australia as ornamental plants. They quickly increase to cover over 25 million hectares of Australia. Two control agents were used to help control the spread of the trees, the cactus moth Cactoblastis cactorum, and Dactylopius scale insects.
Damage from Hypera postica, the alfalfa weevil, a serious introduced nuisance of forage, was substantially reduced by the introduction of natural enemies.
Alligator weed was introduced toward the United States from South America. It takes root in shallow water, interfering with navigation, irrigation, and overflow control. The alligator weed flea beetle and two other biological controls were released in Florida, enabling the condition to forbid the use of herbicides to manage alligator weed three years later. A different aquatic weed, the giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta) is a serious pest, cover waterways, reducing water flow and harming native species. Manage with the salvinia weevil (Cyrtobagous salviniae) is effective in warm climates, and in Zimbabwe, a 99% control of the weed was get over a two-year period.
Small commercially reared parasitoidal wasps, Trichogramma ostriniae, provide limited and unreliable control of the European corn borer , a serious pest. Careful formulation of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis is more effectual.
The population of Levuana iridescens, the Levuana moth, a grave coconut pest in Fiji, was brought under control by a traditional biological control program in the 1920s.