Biocontrols at Humboldt

From: Barry Meyers-Rice (
Date: Thu Aug 05 1999 - 09:57:23 PDT

Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 09:57:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: Barry Meyers-Rice <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg2823$foo@default>
Subject: Biocontrols at Humboldt

I expect that Sylvia's comments about the people on the list being "out of
touch with the larger picture" will get some hackles raised. I have two
comments about biocontrols on CPs.

1)Biocontrols work well in large greenhouse settings. In these places,
enough plants (and pests) are constantly present to support ready
populations of predators. When the pest populations increase, the
predators can increase with them. But biocontrols are not effective in
small greenhouse collections, and especially in terraria. The curator of
the small collection must look elsewhere for solutions.

2)It is rarely discussed, but using biocontrols can involve introducing
new predator species to geographic regions they did not occur in
previously. Granted, there are few people worried about the populations of
rare, native thrips or aphids being attacked by exotic biocontrol
predators. Perhaps this is not even an issue of significant concern. But
perhaps it is.

The matter of pest control, via chemical pesticides, biological
pesticides, and other methods, is complex. Let us be cautious in making



Dr. Barry A. Meyers-Rice
Carnivorous Plant Newsletter
Conservation Coeditor

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