Biological control can be implemented through four different approaches: conservation of existing natural enemies, importation of new species for permanent establishment, temporary natural enemy augmentation, and use of microbial pesticides. The first two methods are most widely applicable and have produced the greatest benefits. Conservation biological control is the foundation of all insect control. Importation biological control is the method that is appropriate to combat exotic invasive pests (whose numbers are large and increasing). Augmentative biological control is limited by cost factors and largely restricted to high-value crops in greenhouses. Microbial pesticides are niche market tools useful in IPM programs but are limited by high production costs or the narrow host ranges of the pathogens. Biological control's greatest strengths are in public sector applications (conservation, importation) rather than private sector approaches (augmentative, microbial pesticides). Expanded use of biological control will require increased commitment of public resources and recognition that publicly supported programs are more effective for biological control implementation.
Agricultural Entomology • Genetically Modified Plants • Host Seeking by Parasitoids • Integrated Pest Management • Physical Control of Insect Pests • Predation
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