Sustainable Living: 3M FuturewiseTown PlanIntroductionGo Back3M

Controlling predators with biological controls

Instead of using chemicals to control predators, farmers can use biological controls. This can mean:

  1. Using a predator of the pest e.g. using ladybirds to eat the aphids that destroy vegetable crops.
  2. Giving the predator a disease that will kill them e.g. giving rabbits myxomatosis by releasing the
    myxoma virus to stop large numbers of rabbits eating crops.
  3. Releasing a parasite that kills the predator e.g. some flies produce larvae that develop on, or inside,
    other insects – eventually killing them.
Advantages of biological control Disadvantages of biological control
  1. Only the predator is attacked.
    Most other creatures are unaffected.
  2. There are no chemicals to pollute
    the environment or get into the
    food chain.
  1. It is slower than using chemicals.
  2. If there are too many biological control
    organisms, they may become pests
    and upset the balance of local species.
  3. If there is more than one predator, the farmer
    may need lots of different biological controls
    instead of one chemical.
  4. It requires more education and training than
    applying chemicals.