Submitted to: Advances in Biopesticide Research Vol II
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2002
Publication Date: 5/12/2003
Citation: Morales-Ramos, J. A. and M. G. Rojas. 2003. Natural Enemies and Pest Control: An Integrated Pest Management Concept. In O. Koul and G. S. Dhaliwal [Eds.]. Predators and Parasitoids. Taylor and Francis. New York, NY. pages 17-39.
Interpretive Summary: Biological control of pests is defined as the use of natural enemies (predators, parasites, pathogens, and antagonists) to reduce the population numbers of noxious plants or animals. In this chapter we discuss the importance of biological control as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program. An I'M program is characterized by the use of the most effective means of control against a noxious organism (pest) in an integrated and environmentally sound manner consistent with social and economical needs of the affected crop or industry. The role of biological control in an IPM system is emphasized and reviewed. Biological control is viewed as a continuum of three basic tactics that include importation, which is the introduction of natural enemies of a foreign pest; conservation, which is the modification of farm practices to facilitate the reproduction of natural enemies; and augmentation, which is the mass production and release of natural enemies. Numerous examples of successful uses of biological control are reviewed. This chapter is intended for pest control professionals and people involved in agriculture with basic knowledge of biology. The newly introduced concepts included can benefit growers and extension and research professionals in the field of agriculture and environmental sciences.
Technical Abstract: This chapter focuses on the importance of natural enemies in pest control in the context of integrated pest management (IPM). The importance of biological control within IPM programs is stressed and reviewed. Biological control is defined as a continuum that includes three basic tactics: importation, conservation, and augmentation. The use of these tactics in an integrated manner is fundamental for the success of biological control of agricultural and urban pests. This chapter also disproves the common beliefs that biological control is ineffective against key pests of annual crops, incompatible with the use of chemical pesticides, and too complex to be practical in most cases. Emphasis is placed on the implementation, current use, and future of augmentation as the ultimate tactic of biological control of pests.