Parasites (ectoparasites or endoparasites) are a major cause of diseases in man, his livestock and crops, leading to poor yield and great economic loss. To overcome some of the major limitations of chemical control methods such as rising resistance, environmental and health risks, and the adverse effect on non‐target organisms, biological control (biocontrol) is now at the forefront of parasite (pests) control. Biocontrol is now a core component of the integrated pest management. Biocontrol is defined as “the study and uses of parasites, predators and pathogens for the regulation of host (pest) densities”. Considerable successes have been achieved in the implementation of biocontrol strategies in the past. This chapter presents a review of the history of biocontrol, its advantages and disadvantages; the different types of biological control agents (BCAs) including predators, parasites (parasitoids) and pathogens (fungi, bacteria, viruses and virus‐like particles, protozoa and nematodes); the effect of biocontrol on native biodiversity; a few case studies of the successful implementation of biocontrol methods and the challenges encountered with the implementation of biocontrol and future perspectives.
Part of the book: Natural Remedies in the Fight Against Parasites