News and Reviews

Biological Control Bookshelf

Biological Control by Natural Enemies (2nd Edition)

This very good and very readable book by Paul Debach and David Rosen (Cambridge University Press, 1991) is a great introduction to the concepts and practices of biological control. Although the book is somewhat technical, it is designed more as a semipopular work than as a scientific reference; many other reference books are aimed at researchers. Their writing style is very easy to read and the content is interesting enough to hold the attention of the novice. The authors provide many examples of effective biological control so the reader gains a broader perspective on the scope of the practice worldwide. However, the book is not a "how to" book; it is a general reference - not a list of recipes on how to accomplish biological control against specific insects or in specific crops.

The book is divided into 10 chapters. The first chapter discusses the impacts of pesticides on biological control, and the authors conclude that although pesticides cannot be immediately removed from agricultural production, our ultimate goal should be the complete elimination of pesticides. Although many practitioners of Integrated Pest Management believe that such a goal is probably unattainable, having such a goal should help steer pest management research toward more ecologically-based practices, biological control included. Chapter 2 is a survey of natural enemies, including many black and white photographs of predators, parasites and pathogens. Chapter 3 discusses, in a relatively nontechnical way, the natural and ecological bases for biological control. Chapters 4-6 review the history and some of the many excellent successes in biological control, starting with the first use of predators in pest management over 2000 years ago. Most of the examples covered in these chapters include classical (importation) biological control. Chapter 7 covers the important role of research in biological control and devotes several pages each to importation, conservation, and augmentation. The utilization of biological control as a viable pest management is the topic of Chapter 8. Chapter 9 discusses other non-chemical approaches to pest management practices, such as cultural and genetic methods. Chapter 10 concludes the book by discussing ways to switch from chemically-based to biologically-based pest management programs, providing several examples of successful IPM programs throughout the world that have been based primarily on biological control. The bibliography contains over 400 references, and there is an extensive index.

Biological Control by Natural Enemies is highly recommended to those who want a very thorough yet readable book to provide a wealth of background information on the science and practice of biological control.

Biological Control with Egg Parasitoids

Everything you ever wanted to know about Trichogramma wasps. This highly technical book, edited by E. Wajnberg and A. S. Hassan (CAB International, 1994), was written by members of the Working Group "Trichogramma and other egg parasitoids" of the International Organization for Biological Control. The 12 chapters cover almost all the scientific aspects involved in the use of egg parasitoids in biological control, including systematics, optimal species selection, mass-rearing, release methods, a survey of pest management programs utilizing these insects, parasitoid searching behavior, and physiological interactions with their hosts.

Biological Control of Weeds: A Handbook for Practitioners and Students

This 72-page publication by K. L. S. Harley and I. W. Forno (Inkata Press, 1992) is intended to provide a basic understanding of biological weed control, as well as give practical guidance to practitioners. Classical biological control is the emphasis, but mycoherbicides are covered briefly. The criteria for selecting target weeds for a biological control program and the steps followed to implement such a program are reviewed. About 150 references are included and a glossary defines most of the technical terms. There are some interesting before and after photos of successful weed control with insects.

Return to Contents Menu Vol. II  No. 8

Go To Index