BIOLOGICAL CONTROL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL • “The use of living organisms to suppress the population of a specific pest organism , making it less abundant or less damaging than it would otherwise be. What are Natural Enemies? Natural enemies are living organisms that: -Kill pest -Decrease pest reproductive potential -Compete with pest organisms for use of your plants. Who Kills Pest? • Predators • Parasites • Pathogens • Sterilization TYPES OF BIOLOGICAL PEST CONTROL • There are three basic types of biological pest control strategies: *Importation (sometimes called “classical biological control) *Augmentation *Conservation IMPORTATION • Importation involves the introduction of a pest’s natural enemies to a new locale where they do not occur naturally. • It is long lasting and inexpensive. • When a natural enemy is successfully established it rarely requires additional input and it continues to kill the pest with no direct help from humans and at no cost. AUGMENTATION • Augmentation involves the supplemental release of natural enemies , boosting the naturally occurring population. CONSERVATION • Enhance conditions for existing natural enemy and reproduction. BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS • PREDATORS are mainly free-living species that directly consume a large number of prey during their whole lifetime. - PARASITOIDS • Parasitoids lay their eggs on or in the body of an insect host , which is then used as a food for developing larvae. The host is ultimately killed. PATHOGEN • Pathogen micro organisms include bacteria , fungi, and viruses. They kill or debilitate their host and are relatively host-specific. Various microbial insect diseases occur naturally, but may also be used as biological pesticides. ADVANTAGES OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL • High level of control at low cost • Self-perpetuating at little cost after initial effort • Very few harmful effects on man, and environment • Some natural enemies reproduce rapidly • Some natural enemies search out hosts • Some natural enemies survive even at low host densities DISADVANTAGES OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL • Not effective against Direct Pests where any damage is unacceptable. • Some level of damage occurs and must be acceptable. • Must be implemented over large areas. • May take years to become effective.