CLEMSON, S.C. — Consumers are becoming more concerned about pesticide usage on ornamental plants and turfgrass in and around their homes and on the fruits and vegetables they eat. Not only are the negative health and environmental risks of pesticides of concern but also the impacts of neonicotinoids and other broad-spectrum pesticides on pollinators and other beneficial organisms. Growers and green industry professionals are searching for alternative pest management tactics to satisfy consumer demands and the desire for sustainability and operational flexibility. Many are considering biological control.
The benefits of biological control include reduced reliance on pesticides, decreased potential for development of pesticide resistance, flexibility in usage of personal protective equipment, shorter (or no) restricted entry intervals, and reputational benefit of being a sustainable and responsible grower or professional. Biological control can also be used to manage pest populations that have developed pesticide resistance. This publication provides an introduction to biological control and explains how to integrate biological control into an integrated pest management (IPM) program. For the purposes of this publication, pests are defined as any undesirable insect, mite, plant (weed), or organism that causes disease (pathogen) or damage on ornamental plants, turfgrasses, fruits, and vegetables.
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–Clemson Extension Land Grant Press