What is Biological Pest Control?
Biological Pest Control is using natural organisms such as beneficial predators or parasites, microbial products or plant extracts to control pests and diseases. It has become well established within protected crops and some field crops around the world. Where a biological control approach is taken chemical controls are only used as a last resort.
Why use Biological Pest Control?
Pests in protected crops are provided with an ideal environment in which to live and breed, with equable temperatures, humidity and plenty of plant material on which to feed. Such conditions can result in very rapid multiplication of pests which, traditionally, has necessitated regular and routine spray programmes. Intensive programmes have, in turn, often led to the development of ‘superbugs’ – strains that are resistant to some of the active ingredients in chemical sprays. Resistance management is now a critical consideration for professionals throughout the Agricultural sector and biological pest control offers a powerful tool for resistance management strategies.
Is Resistance a real threat?
Spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) was the first glasshouse pest to develop resistance in 1949. More recently, leafminers, aphids, whiteflies, and thrips have developed resistance to a wide range of chemicals, putting in doubt the continued successful use of some pesticides as a means of control. In recent years pesticide resistance in vegetables, fruit and flower production has developed, very often due to the overuse of chemical controls. As the range of chemical solutions becomes more limited, in part due to increasing regulatory restrictions, the development of resistance to existing controls is an increasing problem faced by growers.
So what is the next step?
Contact your local Bioline adviser to discuss how you can take the ICM approach in your crops.
Bioline Production Sites:
Holland Road, Little Clacton
Essex CO16 9QG
Passage des 4 saisons
3623 Etting Rd.,
Oxnard, CA 93033
Poligono Industrial La Redonda
04710 El Ejido Almeria