A large number of homeowners immediately rush for pesticides when they discover a pest infested area of the house. However, this is not the best way to deal with pests.
Biological pest control refers to the use of a pest's natural enemies to eliminate pests or control their population. Biological pest control is preferred to insecticide use for it is not harmful to the environment. Homeowners mindful of the environmental effects of pesticides need understand and embrace the three types of biological pest control.
Classical Biological Pest Control (Importation)
Importation is a biological pest control method which involves the introduction of a pest's natural enemy into an area that does not have a pre-existing population of the enemies.
Importation is preferred for a number of reasons including the fact that it is inexpensive and long lasting. Typically, the homeowner will only have to bear the cost of collecting, importing and rearing the natural enemy. Once the desired population of natural enemies is attained, there is no additional human input required for continued pest control. A good example of importation in the residential set-up is the adoption of cats in a mice-infested area of the house instead of going for chemical rat poison.
Augmentation is a biological pest control technique used in areas that have a pre-existing population of natural enemies. However, the pre-existing population is often not sufficient for effective pest control. Augmentation is therefore used to boost the pre-existing population of natural enemies.
Introduction of natural enemies is done in two ways depending on the size of the pre-existing population of enemies and the required population for effective pest control. Inoculative introduction of natural enemies is whereby few natural enemies are released into the affected area while inundative introduction is whereby natural enemies are introduced in large numbers at a go.
An example of augmentation in practice around the home is the purchase and introduction of lady beetles in an aphid-infested residential garden.
True to its name, conservation seeks to preserve the existing population of natural enemies in a pest infested area. Conservation is the least complex of all biological pest control strategies because the natural enemies are already adapted to their habitat. Homeowners who choose conservation need to ensure that they maintain optimum conditions for the survival of the natural enemy population. An example of pest control through conservation is the creation providing food and creating a shelter for robins in a spider-infested area.
Ditch the pesticides and embrace biological pest control today. If you're not sure whether your home has pests or not, don't hesitate to reach out to a local professional building and pest inspections company.