- biological control
the control of pests by interference with their ecological status, as by introducing a natural enemy or a pathogen into the environment. Also called biocontrol.[1920-25]
* * *▪ pest controlthe use of living organisms to control pests. A natural enemy such as a parasite, predator, or disease organism is introduced into the environment of a pest or, if already present, is encouraged to multiply and become more effective in reducing the number of pest organisms. Examples of biological control include the destruction of the citrophilus mealybug in California by two parasitic species of chalcid wasps imported from Australia, Coccophagus gurneyi and Tetracnemus pretiosus; the effective predation of an Australian ladybird beetle, or vedalia beetle (Rodolia cardinalis), on the cottony cushion scale in California; the limiting of the proliferation of the European rabbit in Australia by introduction of myxoma virus (which causes the disease myxomatosis); the control of Japanese beetles (Japanese beetle) by Bacillus popilliae, which causes milky disease; and the control of various larvae that attack food crops in home gardens by Bacillus thuringiensis.
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