The History and Development of Biological Control

  • Robert van den Bosch
  • P. S. Messenger
  • A. P. Gutierrez


The purposeful control of insect and weed pests by biotic agents is a comparatively modern development, having become an effective technique in pest control only since about 1890. However, there are antecedent historical events that trace the evolution of some of the fundamental concepts in the development of biological control, and several of these events show the remarkable and perceptive insight of man into the workings of nature. Without these pre-nineteenth-century discoveries and conceptualizations, modern environmental science, to which biological control has made substantial contributions, would very likely have been much delayed. These discoveries and concepts include, among others, those of the balance of nature; population growth and limitation; natural control of numbers; the symbioses among different species, particularly those of plants, animals, and their natural enemies; and the roles such natural enemies play in the determination of abundance.


Biological Control Natural Enemy Gypsy Moth Black Scale Woolly Apple Aphid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert van den Bosch
    • 1
  • P. S. Messenger
    • 1
  • A. P. Gutierrez
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biological ControlUniversity of California, BerkeleyAlbanyUSA

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