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 costly 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 all over 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. Biological control requires more intensive management and planning.
May take longer, require more records, and require more patience and education or training. Biocontrol, short for biological control, is the management of a pest, typically an invasive species, by introducing a natural predator into the environment. Biocontrol reduces the pest population and its impacts on the environment. Natural enemies are an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides that are often used to control invasive species.
Biocontrol is sustainable and long-term; the biggest cost to control an introduced species is research involved in determining the safety and efficacy of a biocontrol agent. Therefore, biocontrol can be cost-effective in the long term. The Biological Insect Control Laboratory at the University of Rhode Island has many ongoing biocontrol projects targeting invasive species in Rhode Island to help reduce the ecological and social impact of a pest. One of the major disadvantages of biological pest control may be that it takes a long time to actually control the pest population.
While it should not be assumed that introduced biological control agents pose no risk to native species and ecosystems, history suggests that there have been very few problems, even during the many decades when regulation was virtually non-existent (Lynch et al. Periodic analyses of the successes and failures of biological control have suggested a number of more generalized limitations related to the types of pests that predators and parasitoids can most easily control, the characteristics of the target ecosystem, and the suitability of climates. In biological control, pest populations are not usually eradicated, but are maintained at very low densities; the desirable goal is the long-term suppression of pest species. The first major successes in biological control occurred with exotic pests controlled by natural enemy species collected from the country or area of origin of the pest (classic control).
Unlike the chemical process, the biological control pest does not leave any type of residue as its sequelae. The favorable economics of biological control in relation to the use of pesticides also applies to the commercial application of the technique. Many biological control schemes use predatory insects and mites, insects that parasitize other insects (parasitoids) or nematodes, directed against insect and mite pests; these are so-called “macrobic” agents. These countries had relatively early legislation and testing procedures in place to regulate imports and analyze the risks of entomophage exotic biological control agents (Sheppard et al.
However, the main reason for the limited success of biological control in the field in Northern Europe is not the climate, but the major changes that occurred in agricultural production systems after 1945 with the introduction of pesticide-dominated pest control methods, and the loss of pest resistance and diseases through plant breeding programs that selectively focused on performance (Lewis et al. Using biological control in your home garden requires knowledge, patience and motivation, but it can also reap great rewards. Biological control schemes work around the world as part of pest management in agriculture, forestry and greenhouse horticulture. Markets for biological control products are often small and cannot support or justify high levels of expenditure in assessing environmental risks and preparing the dossiers required for registration.
It is clear that such analyses are no guarantee of success, and there are also conflicting views among scientists who question some of the fundamental theories of biological control on which such analyses are based. Improving networking among the global biological control community and building easily accessible databases containing information on all natural enemies studied (with appropriate evaluation) will help increase the rate of identification of new and efficient control agents. The biological process of pest control may seem easy, but it's not, especially if it's your first time doing it. Natural biological control ensures that the Earth is “green” and that plants can produce enough biomass to support other forms of life.