The definition “biological control” has been used in different fields of biology, most notably entomology and plant pathology. It has been used to describe the use of live predatory insects, entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) or microbial pathogens to repress populations of various pest insects in entomology. EPNs are among one of the best biocontrol agents to control numerous economically important insect pests, successfully. Many surveys have been conducted all over the world to get EPNs that may have potential in management of economically important insect pests. The term “entomopathogenic” comes from the Greek word entomon means insect and pathogenic means causing disease and first occurred in the nematology terminology in reference to the bacterial symbionts of Steinernema and Heterorhabditis. EPNs differ from other parasitic or necromenic nematodes as their hosts are killed within a relatively short period of time due to their mutualistic association with bacteria. They have many advantages over chemical pesticides are in operator and end-user safety, absence of withholding periods, minimising the treated area by monitoring insect populations, minimal damage to natural enemies and lack of environmental pollution. Improvements in mass-production and formulation technology of EPNs, the discovery of numerous efficient isolates and the desirability of increasing pesticide usage have resulted in a surge of scientific and commercial interest in these biological control agents.
Part of the book: Integrated Pest Management (IPM)