Disadvantages of Biological Control Biological control agents are expensive to find. The greatest expenditure occurs during the field study and the early testing stage, which must be carried out abroad. There may not even be suitable agents. Potential agents are also expensive to test for specificity.
Biological control can be less or more expensive than pesticides. You can incur significant expenses studying, choosing, testing and breeding a bioagent. However, in cases where bioagents are applied to low-level pest populations, pest control can be long-term and economical. Some fungi attack insects and kill them.
A fungal spore penetrates the insect and grows along it. It takes about a week for the insect to die. Fungi are cost-effective unless a high application rate is needed for severe insect infestations. A major disadvantage of biological pest control may be that it takes a long time to actually control the pest population.
Biological control uses living organisms to reduce pest populations. Because biological control reduces pesticide use, is highly selective and self-perpetuating, there are several important advantages, as described below. In addition, an entire industry has been developed to produce, disseminate and aid in the adoption of natural enemies. It can be more difficult for a non-professional person to achieve biological control given the many variables involved and the specialized knowledge of pests, bioagents and environmental conditions that are often needed to succeed.
In such cases, biological control will need to be replaced or supplemented by chemical or other control measures. The biological process of pest control may seem easy, but it's not, especially if it's your first time doing it. See the original article for more information on biological control and a list of references. Ultimately, biological pest control has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, as it remains a new method of controlling the pest population.
In order to choose a successful biological control program, it is crucial to identify the pest along with its population levels and the circumstances of the infestation. Biological control is used as an integral component of IPM programs in commercial ornamental production. Biological control of the broad mite is very difficult, although the use of predatory mites such as Amblyseius swirskii and Neoseiulus cucumeris can help control the pest. Unlike chemical pesticides, biological control agents, also called bioagents, do not leave lasting residues that remain in the environment.
Nor are there effective biological control agents for scale insects that attack ornamental crops in the greenhouse or nursery. It is an alternative to pesticides and poisons that can offer a few different advantages and disadvantages. Unlike the chemical process, the biological control pest does not leave any type of residue as its sequelae. In addition, restrictions governing the international movement of natural enemies have limited the number of new natural enemies that can be used in biological control programs.
Advances in the use of banking plants and new mechanical applicators for natural enemy release have the potential to make biological control even more self-perpetuating and economical.