Biological control is an environmentally sound and effective means of reducing or mitigating pests and pest effects through the use of natural enemies. The aim of Biological Control is to promote this science and technology through publication of original research articles and reviews of research and theory. The journal devotes a section to reports on bio-technologies dealing with the elucidation and use of genes or gene products for the enhancement of biological control agents.

The journal encompasses biological control of viral, microbial, nematode, insect, mite, weed, and vertebrate pests in agriculture, aquatic, forest, natural resource, stored product, and urban environments. Biological control of arthropod pests of human and domestic animals is also included. Ecological, molecular, and biotechnological approaches to the understanding of biological control are welcome.

Entomology-parasitoids, predators, and pathogens and their use through importation, augmentation, and/or habitat management strategies
• Plant Pathology-antagonism, competition, cross-protection, hyperparasitism, hypovirulence, and soil suppressiveness through naturally occurring and introduced agents
• Nematology-predators, parasitoids, and pathogens in biological control through augmentation and/or habitat management strategies and suppressive soils through naturally occurring and introduced agents
• Weed Science-vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogens and their use through classical, augmentative, or bio herbicidal tactics

Classical biological control is the introduction of natural enemies to a new locale where they did not originate or do not occur naturally. This is usually done by government authorities. In many instances the complex of natural enemies associated with an insect pest may be inadequate. This is especially evident when an insect pest is accidentally introduced into a new geographic area without its associated natural enemies. These introduced pests are referred to as exotic pests and comprise about 40% of the insect pests in the United States. To obtain the needed natural enemies, scientists turned to classical biological control. This is the practice of importing, and releasing for establishment, natural enemies to control an introduced (exotic) pest, although it is also practiced against native insect pests. The first step in the process is to determine the origin of the introduced pest and then collect appropriate natural enemies associated with the pest or closely related species.

This is based on the importation and release of exotic bio control agents, with the expectation that the agents will become established and no further releases will be necessary. Classical bio control is thus unlike the other two methods, in that it is permanent. Once successful control of a pest has been achieved, the control will continue indefinitely unless disrupted by the introduction of hyper-parasites. It is therefore much cheaper than other methods in the long run. Also, it does not require action by farmers, so that extension and adoption in the field is not a problem.

The problem is that introduced exotic bio control agents may not be successful in a new environment, and may not become established. Even if they do become established, they may not have much impact on the target pest. Classical bio control is most effective when it is used to control introduced pests, rather than endemic ones. It is also most effective when it is used in isolated and clearly defined areas, as in the case of small islands

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Author's Bio: 

Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"