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Turfgrass Insects of the United States and Canada$
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Patricia J. Vittum

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501747953

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501747953.001.0001

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Biological Control Strategies

Biological Control Strategies

(p.399) 27 Biological Control Strategies
Turfgrass Insects of the United States and Canada

Patricia J. Vittum

Cornell University Press

This chapter assesses biological control strategies that can reduce turfgrass insect pest populations. Biological control refers to the suppression of pest populations through the activity of living organisms or their by-products. Although a majority of this book is devoted to understanding turfgrass pests, most organisms associated with turfgrass are not pests but instead may be considered beneficial because they reduce thatch, help recycle soil nutrients, or are natural enemies of pest species. Pest outbreaks can sometimes be traced to the absence of natural control agents in the turf environment. Vertebrate and invertebrate predators, insect parasitoids, and microbial pathogens may act as natural enemies of turfgrass pests. Although the effect of one species of natural enemy may be minor, the combined effects of predators, parasitoids, and pathogens can cause considerable reductions in pest populations. Additional agents can be considered as biological controls. These include fungal endophytes (which confer host-plant resistance to some insects), botanicals (botanically derived insecticides), and synthetic compounds that mimic the activity of insect-produced compounds, such as growth hormones and pheromones.

Keywords:   biological control strategies, turfgrass pests, pest populations, predators, insect parasitoids, microbial pathogens, fungal endophytes, botanicals, growth hormones, pheromones

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