First, there is no “Silver Bullet” for pest
problems. You cannot just spritz a plant with a chemical, or open a jar
of beneficial insects, and expect your problems to be solved. Pest
management requires an organized thought process that has to be considered
before you have a pest problem. This is the foundation of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and
biological control is just on tool used in IPM.
IPM is the
practice of long-term prevention and suppression of pests. Several tools
are commonly used, including scouting, resistant varieties of plants, and
cultural practices. Pesticides are only used when pest pressures have
reached an unacceptable level for the situation, and other control methods
have been tried. When pesticides are used they are selected and used
in an environmentally responsible way.
insecticide use in the U.S. increased more than tenfold since 1945 to date,
crop losses to
insects have nearly doubled during this period."
- David Pimintell, Ph.D., Cornell University