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                            BIOLOGICAL PEST CONTROL OUTDOORS

 

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Introduction

Species Targeted For Biological Control

References

 

Introduction

          Pests encountered outdoors in cities and towns are similar to those found in agriculture, but the habitat may often differ markedly from agriculture. Dahlsten & Hall (1999) point out that although the principles of biology and ecology pertain to the diverse, human structured environment, the diffuse management and economic goals encountered there make it difficult to apply ecological concepts to control problems. Integrated pest management has nevertheless has appeared in the control of pest problems in cities and towns (Olkowski et al. 1976, 1978; Frankie & Ehler 1978, Frankie & Koehler 1978, 1983; Bennett & Owens 1986) . The National Research Council (1980) estimated that 5.3-10.6 pounds of pesticide are applied per acre to gardens and lawns of metropolitan areas, which are higher rates than the average for agriculture or other managed lands.

         Olkowski et al. (1978) have divided pest management in cities and towns into medical, psychological, architectural, agricultural, floricultural, silvacultural and horticultural areas. Medical entomologists usually deal with medical and veterinary problems.

         Arthropod fauna in cities and towns is diverse (Frankie & Ehler 1978). As an example, in a small suburban yard near New York City, there were 1,402 insect species collected over a few years (Lutz 1941). Human expansion has furnished some unique opportunities for insects to exploit buildings, and environmental conditions favorable to insect growth and development year round. A number of human influences affect the distribution and abundance of arthropods in these environments. The size of the area may range from a backyard garden with a couple of fruit trees to miles of highway borders covered by African ice plant. Native and introduced flora is usually very diverse, as was shown by the 132 tree, 147 shrub and 53 ground cover species found in Austin, Texas (Frankie & Ehler 1978). In the area of Berkeley, California only 10 tree species constitute the native tree flora, but there are 123 total tree species (Frankie & Ehler 1978, Olkowski 1974), and almost 300 species on the Berkeley campus of the University of California (Cockrell & Warnke 1976).

          Public concern over chemical pollutants has provided incentives for the initiation of biological control in cities and towns (Dahlsten et al. 1985). Typically, most successful biological control in metropolitan areas is not well documented, but there is a strong desire among researchers to gather critical data in some modern projects, e.g., the biological control of the elm leaf beetle, Xantherogaleruca luteola (Müller) with the egg parasitoid, Tetrastichus gallerucae (Fonscolmbe) (Clair et al. 1987, 1988). Overall little attention has been given thus far to classical biological control in metropolitan areas. A report by the National Research Council (1980) lists 70 species of natural enemies released against 15 pests with an establishment rate of 34.3%. Among these most successful projects have been against Homoptera on perennial plants, which is the pattern found in agriculture as well (Flanders 1986). However, Hagen et al. (1971) emphasize that the importance of naturally occurring biological control should not be underestimated in city and town environments.

Shade tree pests may be the most fruitful area for biological control in this environment. They state that with the rapidly expanding concept of the urban forest, it may be possible to organize larger programs and generate public support for biological control. The urban forest is defined as trees and other vegetation growing in close association with people (Kielbaso & Kennedy 1983). Kielbaso & Kennedy (1983) estimated that the amount of money spent on tree care programs in the United States is substantial, and in 1980 amounted to US$2.19 per capita or $10.78 per tree. The value of street trees in 1974 in the United States was valued at over $15 billion. Although many trees are planted in cities and towns, there has been a tendency to develop monocultures and there is concern over the low diversity of such forest trees (Kielbaso & Kennedy 1983). Olkowski et al (1978) and Dahlsten et al. (1985) suggest that the focus of developing biological control programs in urban forests has been on defoliators and homopterans as six of the 10 most important metropolitan area forest pests nationally are defoliators and the top two pests are aphids and scales.

Species Targeted For Biological Control

Principal species of arthropods that have been investigated for biological control in cities and towns include cockroaches, European earwig, Forficula auricularia L., Cuban laurel thrips, Gynaikothrips ficorum Marchal, acacia psyllis, Acizzia uncatoides (Ferris & Klyver), woolly whitefly, Aleurothrixus floccosus (Maskell), oak aphid, Myzocallis annulara (Harttig), urban tree aphids, Eucallipterus tiliae L. & Tinocallis platani (Kaltenbach), pine needle scale, Chionaspis pinifoliae (Fitch), goldon oak scale, Asterodiaspis variolosa (Ratzeburg), European fruit lecanium, Lecanium corni (Bouche), green guava mealybug, Chloropulvinaria psidii (Maskell), ice plant scales, Pulvinariella mesembryanthemi (Vallot) & Pulvinaria delottoi Gill, Rhodesgrass mealybug, Antonina graminis (Maskell), Comstock mealybug, Pseudococcus comstocki (Kuwana), Lebbeck mealybug, Nipaecoccus virdis (Maskell), hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), elm leaf beetle, Xanthogaleruca luteola (Müller), Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica Newman, Nantucket pine tip moth, Rhyacionia frustrana (Comstock), and holly leafminer, Phytomyza ilicis Curtis. Please refer to separate discussions of each of these arthropods under the section on Case Histories (Files: CASEHIST._*_.)

 

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