What is an advantage of biological control of pests in agriculture?

In addition, in many cases, the benefits of using natural enemies accrue at no additional cost. Biocontrol, short for biological control, is the management of a pest, typically an invasive species, by introducing a natural predator into the environment. Biocontrol reduces the pest population and its impacts on the environment. Natural enemies are an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides that are often used to control invasive species.

Biocontrol is sustainable and long-term; the biggest cost to control an introduced species is research that involves determining the safety and efficacy of a biocontrol agent. Therefore, biocontrol can be cost-effective in the long term. The Biological Insect Control Laboratory at the University of Rhode Island has many ongoing biocontrol projects targeting invasive species in Rhode Island to help reduce the ecological and social impacts of pests. Selecting entomopathogenic nematodes to improve responsiveness to a volatile root signal helps control a major root pest.

Some biological control schemes have the potential to be successful, but require additional input from man, either prior to release or during natural colonization of the crop environment or to encourage post-release establishment, and this is particularly true in the case of biological control of conservation. In other situations, slow release systems are used to obtain regular re-infestation of the crop with natural enemies, as is the case with the “bag system” used to control thrips by predatory mites. However, many IPM programs have not been able to go beyond the first stage of developing sampling methods and economic thresholds for pesticide application. However, control is often transient and new releases are required, sometimes more than once a year.

As a result, the increase in GM crops presents opportunities for conservation biological control to promote pest suppression and these outweigh the risks to natural enemies from the effects of gene products. Herbivorous insects and mites have also been used in the biological control of weeds (Bellows & Fisher 1999; van Lenteren 200. First, in nature, most organisms are consumed by other organisms, which in many cases leads to drastic reductions in the population of prey species; in biological control, man exploits this “natural control” to suppress the number of pest species. In other cases, pest populations are significantly reduced by natural enemies, but repeated releases or additional methods are needed to achieve an adequate level of control.

In fact, the first field trial of a genetically modified arthropod biological control agent was with the predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis in 1996 (Hoy, 2000). More recently, guidance on procedures and methods for environmental risk assessment (ERA) of non-native invertebrate biological control agents has been proposed (van Lenteren et al. The arguments against chemical pesticides are that they not only kill the pest organism, but also many non-target species, including natural enemy species, which in turn can increase the pest status of species that were previously unimportant or easy to control. The increase refers to all forms of biological control where natural enemies are periodically introduced and generally requires commercial production of the released agents (van Lenteren 2000b).

Sometimes, when a non-native bioagent is introduced to control a non-native pest species, it, in turn, becomes a pest. Therefore, accurate identification of the host and parasitoid species is of vital importance in the use of parasitoids for biological control. A key limitation to the use of landscape-scale approaches to be actively exploited in biological conservation control is that agricultural landscapes are often intensively treated with insecticides that can have a major impact on natural enemies. .

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