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Is biological control an effective way of controlling pests?

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Introduction

Is biological control an effective way of controlling pests? Over 40% of the world's food production is destroyed by pests, diseases, and weeds each year. Another 20% is lost to pests after harvest. (Paoletti, Maurizio G. and Pimentel D.) Farmers usually use chemicals to control pests. However, pesticides and herbicides are an extremely harmful factor for our environment. They cause pollution in our water, air, and food. They can also kill off many beneficial insects and make infestation worse. Worst of all, it can take years for some of these chemicals to breakdown and decompose. Therefore, the use of biological control is now important. We have our environment to think about. Practicing biological pest control gives us a promising way of reducing the use of chemicals and developing alternatives that are compatible nature. So agricultural scientist tried to control unwanted plants, insects and fungi by biological methods in order to increase crop yield considerable. Biological control does not use chemical. It uses other organisms that are predators or parasites of the pest. (Indge B., Rowland M. and Baker M.) It is very important in struggle against pests that damage our agriculture and environment. ...read more.

Middle

So the generalist behavior of predators is frequently very useful for regulating a variety of pests. (iv) Parasitoid requires only one host to complete development. Usually parasitoids attack very specific pest organisms, thus they can be used in a very selective manner against particular pests. They are easily to rear, because each individual parasitoid develops within a single host. They destroy the host within which they develop. (v) Control organisms will increase in number and spread spontaneously. (vi) For large scale farmers these costs will be high to start but in the end you will have all you need and the costs will decrease. Biological control, in the long scheme of things, it costs less because it is self-sustaining and non-destructive. (vii) Biological control is a long term pest control tactic. It can be a permanent solution to a pest problem and it is highly unlikely that a pest would evolve resistance to a natural enemy, as the two interacting species both would change. There are some examples of biological control in reality * An example of this long term and permanent tactic is the Vedalia beetle. ...read more.

Conclusion

It requires users of the most dangerous pesticide - called restricted use pesticides -to have a special license to use them. The federal government may order people who use pesticide improperly to pay large fines.(Anderson M., Dede C. etc) Therefore more pest managers use biological control methods, such as encouraging a pest's natural enemies, to instead of the use of chemicals. To conclude, biological control can offsets the disadvantages of the use of chemicals. Therefore, biological control should be implemented whenever possible because it does not pollute the environment. It uses natural enemies of the pests for their control. Biological control should be the preferred method as chemical method causes many disadvantages when using it. Some of the reasons for using of biological control are the aspects of environmentally sound, economically feasible, time tested technique, not fully exploited, potential for use because natural enemies exist for all organisms, role in sustainable agriculture and federal mandate. (www.ento.vt.edu) Although these points are showing that using biology control is such an effective to control pests. However, there are still some people do not want practicing biology control to control pests, the reasons may be the following, need for fix, lack of patience, potent pesticides, industry advocates or easy application of pesticides. These factors lead farmers to use chemicals or other methods to control pests. ...read more.

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