How Effective Is Biological Pest Control?

In the words of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, there’s always a bigger fish. Nature is filled with natural predators and prey. This fact is the core theory behind one of the most creative forms of pest control – biological pest control, or bio pest control for short.

In essence, biological pest control gets rid of pests by introducing a predator that will cut the population down to size. One of the oldest forms of pest control, this is if you count buying a cat as an Integrated Pest Management plan!

But really, how effective is biological pest control and biological pest management? While there have been some success stories, there have also been some notable failures regarding the biological control of insects. Even if the predator species manages to wipe out the infestation, well, that leaves the question of how to get rid of the predators once the job is done.

Global Biological Pest Control Methods Gone Awry

There is a long history of failed examples of biological pest control. They range from the hilarious, to the heinous, to the horrific.

For instance, in the 1930s, the sugar cane fields of Queensland, Australia were plagued by sweet-toothed beetles decimating the crops. To combat the infestation, someone had the bright idea of bringing over two suitcases filled with cane toads to send the beetles packing.

With only a hundred toads, what could possibly go wrong? Well, instead of eating the beetles, the toads went on a little walkabout around the Outback. Long story short, there are now a billion-and-a-half cane toads across Australia.

However, the worst examples of biological control come from China’s Four Pests Campaign. In the 1950s, to accelerate food production, the newly instated Communist government ordered a public campaign to eliminate the four varieties of pest reducing crop yields, in particular sparrows.

But while this method of biological pest control did succeed in driving sparrows to the edge of extinction, it also led to an explosion in the locust population thanks to the disappearance of their natural predator. The resulting famine was widespread and lead to at least 20 million deaths.

Do Cats Keep Mice Away? Can Our Feline Friends Help In The Battle Against Pests?

When most people think of biological pest control, they think of cats chasing mice away. But do cats keep mice away? While it is most cats’ nature to catch rodents and bring them indoors in hope of a treat, you can’t rely on this ineffective method of DIY pest control.

The rugged outdoors puts cats at an increased risk of infections, traumas, hypothermia, and myiasis (maggot infestation). In other words, your cat won’t prey on and catch neighbourhood pests every single day. It’ll only happen occasionally, if at all depending on each cat’s temperament. Read this blog for more information about the pros and cons of cats keeping mice away.

So, what else can you try instead? Integrated Pest Management (IPM), otherwise known as IPM pest control or organic IPM, is the answer you’ve been looking for.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Is The Better Alternative To Biological Pest Control

So, what’s the alternative to biological pest control? Terminix Canada specializes in Integrated Pest Management, or IPM for short. An IPM program is a holistic, macro approach to commercial and residential pest control based on removing the root causes of pest infestations. This includes measures like habitat removal or sealing off potential vulnerabilities in a property’s foundations. While Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can incorporate pesticides in extreme situations, Terminix Canada opts for organic IPM whenever possible. You can read more about our approach to IPM on our Quality Assurance page.

Terminix Canada Provides Professional Pest Control That Gets Results

When you want safe, effective commercial or residential pest control using organic IPM strategies, contact Terminix Canada. Our representatives will work with you to create a custom Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan that meets your needs.

Terminix Canada is backed by over 90 years of professional pest control experience. If you’re having an issue with pests, we specialize in fast and environmentally friendly pest removal services. To find out more about the pest control options available in your town or city, visit our Branch Locator, find your nearest Terminix Canada branch and give them a call.