1) method of managing plant pests or weeds through the use of natural predators. parasites. or pathogens. 2) biological methods management of vegetation by establishment and conservation of compatible. stable plant communities using plant competition. allelopathy. animals. insects. or pathogens. Cover-type conversion is a type of biological control.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
biological control (noun)
1.
the reduction in numbers or elimination of pest organisms by interference with their ecology (as by the introduction of parasites or diseases)
2.
an agent used in biological control
biological control (Wikipedia)

Syrphus hoverfly larva (below) feed on aphids (above), making them natural biological control agents.
A parasitoid wasp (Cotesia congregata) adult with pupal cocoons on its host, a tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta, green background), an example of a hymenopteran biological control agent

Biological control or biocontrol is a method of controlling pests such as insects, mites, weeds and plant diseases using other organisms. It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natural mechanisms, but typically also involves an active human management role. It can be an important component of integrated pest management (IPM) programs.

There are three basic strategies for biological pest control: classical (importation), where a natural enemy of a pest is introduced in the hope of achieving control; inductive (augmentation), in which a large population of natural enemies are administered for quick pest control; and inoculative (conservation), in which measures are taken to maintain natural enemies through regular reestablishment.

Natural enemies of insect pests, also known as biological control agents, include predators, parasitoids, pathogens, and competitors. Biological control agents of plant diseases are most often referred to as antagonists. Biological control agents of weeds include seed predators, herbivores and plant pathogens.

Biological control can have side-effects on biodiversity through attacks on non-target species by any of the same mechanisms, especially when a species is introduced without thorough understanding of the possible consequences.

« Back to Glossary Index
Scroll to Top