Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Entomology

pp 593-593

Conservation Biological Control

  • Kenneth W. McCravyAffiliated withWestern Illinois University

Conservation biological control is the implementation of practices that maintain and enhance the reproduction, survival, and efficacy of natural enemies (predators, parasitoids, and pathogens) of pests. Natural enemies are important in regulating populations of many agricultural and forest insect pests. Approaches to conservation of these natural enemies involve avoidance of practices harmful to them, as well as adoption of practices that benefit them. Like other animals, insect natural enemies require food, water, and shelter, and protection from adverse conditions. To achieve the goals of conservation biological control, fundamental knowledge of the biology and requirements of natural enemies is needed.

Practices Detrimental to Natural Enemies

Perhaps the most important rule of conservation biological control is the physician’s maxim, ‘first, do no harm.’ Many insecticides can have both direct and indirect effects on natural enemies. Direct effe ...

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