Biological insect control
Barbosa, Pedro Department of Entomology, College of Life Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland.
Last reviewed:May 2020
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The use of parasitoids, predators, and pathogens to reduce injurious pest insect populations and consequently the damage that they cause. Biological insect control (or insect biocontrol) is the regulation of insect populations by biological means. It involves the natural or applied management of populations of pest insects (see illustration) through the role or use of natural enemies. Viruses and bacteria are the most commonly used pathogens, but fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and even insects may be important biological control agents. See also: Agricultural science (plant); Agricultural soil and crop practices; Economic entomology; Insecta; Parasitology; Pathogen
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