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The advantages and disadvantages of the three forms of biological control of insect and mite pests -- classical, augmentation and conservation -- are discussed.
Biological control is the conscious use of living beneficial organisms, called natural enemies, to control pests. Biological control should be an important part of any integrated pest management program, an approach which combines a variety of pest control methods to reduce pest levels below an economic threshold. Virtually all insect and mite pests have some natural enemies. Managing these natural enemies can effectively control many pests. Often the use of insecticides or other practices can injure or kill natural enemies, increasing the survival of the remaining pest insects. There are three basic components of biological control: importation, conservation and augmentation.