What is biological control?

It is a technique of controlling organisms including (insects, mites, weeds and plant diseases) by means of certain other living organisms or their products. It is a way of keeping pests below economic injury levels by the action of microbes, predators and parasitoids.

Biological control is an element of an integrated pest management approach. It is an environmentally safe and efficient means of reducing pests by the use of natural enemies. Biological control agents are Predators, Parasitoid insects and Micro-organisms (bacteria, virus and fungi).

There are three important principles of biocontrol i.e. Importation or classical biological control, conservation and augmentation. In case of importation we control the microorganisms by introduction of natural enemies where they do not occur in nature and these natural enemies are called exotic pests and conservation are those actions taken to boost the population of natural enemies, these natural enemies applied at a critical time of the year. Protect existing natural enemies by selecting mechanical, cultural or selective chemical controls which do not harm valuable species. There are only about 1% of all insects and mites are dangerous.

Majority of pests are attacked by a variety of species of natural enemies, and their conservation is the principal way to successfully use biological control. Pesticide use, habitat manipulation and selective timing are key conservation approaches. While augmentation is a process in which actions are taken to maintain and defend natural enemies populations. There are several types of pests used against biological control including Pathogens (bacteria, virus, fungi, nematodes) insect pest and weeds.


In 1762 the first victorious introduction of an organism for biological control from one place to another took place through the establishment of the mynah bird and it is introduced from India to the other Island for locust control.


Ratzeberg in 1828 gave fastidious awareness to the worth of parasitic insects with distribution of a large volume in Germany on the forest insects parasitoids. He did not believe that parasitic control could be augmented by humans. Agustino Bassi in 1834 primarily indicated that the microorganism, Beauvaria bassiana, is the origin of the silkworm disease identified as muscardine.


In early 1850, expansion of agriculture takes place in the United States and further development of biological control in agriculture sector expanded tremendously in California especially.

Edward Steinhaus (1947) He builds the first laboratory at the educational institute of California, in insect pathology.

Asa Fitch in1855 thinks carefully about the transport of valuable insects for the management of an agricultural pest from one state to another. He was the earliest entomologist of New York State.

Benjamin Walsh was the first worker of United State and he proposed that insects are involved in the weed management.

Louis Pasteurin 1865-70 he was the scientist who work on silkworm diseases and prevent the silk industry, from destruction and disintegration.

Charles Valentine Riley (1870) is the father of modern biological control. He studied plum parasitoids.

George Compere (1899) was the first scientist who works for the management of biocontrol agents. He worked as an extraneous collector.


In several fields Biological management of plant pathogens and pests continues to motivate research and development. Plant pathogens are sketched to limit other pests such as parasitic nematodes, pathogens weeds and insects and these are the targets of biological control.

In the narrowest perception, biocontrol inculpate suppressing pest organisms with many other organisms. However, the relationship between environmental variables results in multiple interactions between organisms and their environment, some of which are effective against biological control. Scientists reported the future prospects by utilizing biological control to stop the destruction of plant pathogens in organic and conventional agriculture Conservation biological control (CBC), defined as the discipline of biological control having the greatest prospective for use in advanced world agriculture.


Biological control is an origin of applied ecology in which we use several natural enemies like pathogens, bacteria virus and fungi. Major research areas dealing with biological control are:

• History, relationship of systematic and Development of Biological Control

• Predators biology and their influence

• Parasitoids, predators biology and their common traits

• Biological Control of Weeds and insect pathology

• Factors Affecting Population Growth

• Host Interaction Models of parasites

• Classical Biological Control theories

• Augmentation of Natural Enemies

• Importation of BC Agents

• Factors restrict Parasitism

• Population Regulation Theories and mortality rate

• Environmental Concerns corresponding to Biological Control


Biological control is a very unambiguous approach. Most of the time, when predator is inaugurated will exclusively control the population of pest. Some advantages of biological control are:

Natural enemies place in to the environment are adapted to sustaining themselves, by managing and reducing pest population, through this mechanism the biological control can be retain in a region for a much longer period of time than other techniques of pest control.

High quantity of pest control at little cost in the long run. Although it may cost slightly to launch a new species to the environment.

No harmful impacts man and the community. General incapability of pests to enhance resistance against biocontrol agents.


Biological control can be variable. We cant control until natural enemy you set loose in to an environment and it disrupts the natural food chain.

Its a slow process and it utilizes a plenty of time and patience also require for the biological agents. Whereas pesticides work provide instant results. Biological control provides long term results.

Biological control does not entirely wipe out the pest population.

A lot of money and planning is required to develop a successful system.


A considerable benefit of biological control is its relative protection for environment and human health and compared to extensive use of broad-spectrum pesticides. Most negative impacts from foreign species have been caused by unwanted organisms contaminating imported goods during travelers transport in pest-infested fruit. Negative impacts happen from poorly conceived, biological importations. To avoid these problems, researchers follow government quarantine mandatory and work.

The authors can be

reached at <sabir_tariq@hotmail.com>

By Web Team

Technology Times Web team handles all matters relevant to website posting and management.