Unit 14 in Entomology
One principle of integrated pest management is to not only judiciously use pesticides, as we learned in
the previous unit, but also to use tactics such as biological control.
Unit 14: biological control.
The objectives of this unit are to define biological control, list three major types of biological control,
describe six typical augmentation products, name and describe, using scientific examples, three types of
cultural control methods, and explain how the sterile release method of insect control works and give an
example of its effective use.
Biological control is one of the most interesting areas of entomological research and a topic that students
often become very interested in.
The term biological control is one that most of you have heard many
times, and you probably have a rough idea of what it means.
But before we go any further, we should
define the term so you know exactly what biological control entails.
There is a bit of reading for this unit,
so before you get too far into the lecture, be sure to cover the reading assignment for this unit.
control is the intentional manipulation of populations of living beneficial organisms, called natural
enemies, in order to limit populations of pest insects. There are some key words in that definition that
should be emphasized, so let's take a closer look at the definition with some additional comments added
that will help you analyze it.
The intentional or deliberate manipulation, which means we do something to
cause a change, of populations (not just one praying mantid—an entire population) of living (not
chemicals derived from dead organisms), living beneficial organisms, called natural enemies, in order to
limit, not eliminate, populations of pest insects.
Biological control can be divided into three categories or types.
These divisions are useful ways to look
at the subject.
The three types are classical biological control, conservation, and augmentation.
cover these one by one.
Classical, the first of these types, classical biological control is best described
as the reuniting of old enemies, a term that will take some explanation.
First, we must recognize that the
most serious pests are invaders, usually from another country.
These invaders arrive, usually
accidentally as part of shipments of plants or food products.
When they arrive, they’re in a new habitat
that lacks the natural enemies that were adapted to keep that species population numbers in check in its
Without these natural enemies, the population of the invasive species becomes very
large which is usually why it is considered to be a pest.
Reuniting old enemies means that the natural
enemies that are adapted to kill and control an insect's population are imported from the country of origin
and released in the new place the pest has invaded.