Pictures of Insects


There is an urgent need to develop systems for the management of pests that rely less on the use of chemical insecticides and more on the application of sound ecological principles. Unilateral reliance on insecticides is associated with a broad range of problems, including environmental contamination, pesticide resistance, secondary and target-pest outbreaks, and deleterious effects on non-target organisms. Biological control represents a ecologically-based method of pest control that has the potential to greatly enhance, or even replace, current management systems in many agricultural, urban and greenhouse crops in Arizona. Biological control can be defined as the action of predators, parasites or pathogens in maintaining another organism's density at a lower average than would occur in their absence. A diversity of research programs in biological control are being conducted in Arizona by state and federal scientists. These efforts span the continuum from basic study of the biology, behavior and ecology of natural enemies to the release of natural enemies for enhanced biological control of such pests as sweetpotato whitefly and pink bollworm.

The Arizona Biological Control Working Group was established in 1994 as a forum to facilitate interactions among research, extension, producer, and administrative personnel interested in the development and implementation of biological control in Arizona. The broad objectives of the working group are:

Exchange of information on current and pending research projects

Discussion of policy issues concerning biological control

Development of cooperative research and implementation programs

Development of cooperative proposals for funding

Education and outreach

The group meets semiannually and meetings are open to all interested parties. The working group was founded by Steve Naranjo (USDA-ARS, Western Cotton Research Lab) and Oscar Minkenberg (formerly with the University of Arizona) and is currently co-chaired by Steve Naranjo and Martha Hunter (University of Arizona).

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