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Crop Protection :: Biological control :: FAQs

Biological control

1. What are biopesticides? 
Biopesticides are environmentally benign microbial and plant products that are produced, formulated and applied to control target pests

2. a) What are bioagents? 
Bioagents include parasitoids, predators, and microbial agents and materials derived from animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and viruses used for the management of insect pests and diseases.

2. b) What is Biological control? 
Biological control is the use of living organisms such as parasitoids, predators, pathogens and microbial antagonists to control pests which includes insects, diseases, nematodes, weeds etc.

3. What are biological control agents? 
Parasitoids, predators and microbial agents such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, protozoa and nematodes are called biological control agents.

4. What are biological control agents? 
Parasitoids, predators and microbial agents such as fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes are called biological control agents.

5. Why do we use biopesticides? 
We use biopesticides because: -

  • They are target specific/host specific.
  • Perpetuate in the ecosystem and
  • They are eco friendly.

6. What are insect natural enemies? 
Living organisms found in nature that kill, weaken, or reduce the pest population.

7. Are microbial pesticides compatible with the chemical pesticides? 
To some extent compatible.

8. Does biopesticides safe to the environment? 
Biopesticides are safe to the environment because they are biodegradable, eco-friendly, host specific and leave no harmful residue.

9. What is the shelf life of bioagents? 
Predators and parasitoids have very short shelf life and so we have to use them immediately. Microbial bioagents have relatively longer shelf life and can be stored.

10. How can we enhance the efficacy of biological control agents in the field? 
Efficacy of biological control agents could be enhanced by –

  • Use of more vigorous and virulent strains of bioagents
  • Releases of bioagents in sufficient numbers at the right time.
  • Releases/application of bioagents coinciding with the occurrence of the specific stage of the pest.

11. What are botanicals? 
Substances derived from plants and used as pesticides.

12. What are the drawbacks of biological control agents? 
Drawbacks of biological control agents are-

  • Narrow spectrum of activity leads to outbreak of another species at times.
  • These are effective only when applied at a specific development stage of 
    target species.
  • Action of biocontrol agents is not visible immediately.
  • Formulation and use of bioagents is very technical and requires close 
    monitoring of pest infestation.

13. What are pheromones? 
Pheromones are behavior-modifying chemicals secreted by the insect for the purpose of chemical communication within its own species. There are different kinds of pheromones classified according to their bioactivity.

  • Aggregation pheromones – It is released by the insect for aggregation purposes.
  • Alarm pheromones – It is released for fore warning of danger.
  • Sex pheromones – It is released for the intraspecific attraction of counterpart for mating purposes.

14. How can pheromones be used for pest control? 
Pheromone can be used for monitoring, mass trapping and mating disruption.

15. What are the advantages of pheromone technology? 
Pheromones are intraspecific molecules, which do not affect the presence of other beneficial insects. It is required in very small quantities and does not affect the environment

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