Biological pest control, often referred to as biocontrol, is a method of managing pests using natural predators, parasitoids, or pathogens. This approach partners with nature to maintain the balance of ecosystems and protect crops without resorting to harmful chemicals.
In biological pest control, beneficial organisms like parasitic wasps and predatory mites are introduced into agricultural crops to prey on or parasitize harmful pests like aphids, spider mites, whitefly or caterpillars. Alternatively, microbial insecticides, which are composed of naturally occurring bacteria, viruses, or fungi, can be used to target specific pest species while leaving non-target organisms unharmed.
Unlike chemical pesticides, which can have detrimental effects on ecosystems, biological pest control uses nature's own mechanisms, such as predators, parasites, and beneficial microorganisms, to keep pest populations in check. This approach not only reduces the environmental impact but also minimizes the risk of pesticide resistance, making it a sustainable and effective long-term strategy for pest management. Additionally, as consumers and retail increasingly favour organic and environmentally friendly products, the demand for biological pest control methods is likely to grow, making it a forward-looking choice for agriculture and pest management.