In an ideal situation, farmers could identify field pests, look up a predator or parasitic foe of that pest, and make an order for delivery.
While that isn’t exactly the case currently, bringing predatory or parasitic insects into an area does happen, and the practice is likely to gain traction as the knowledge of beneficial insects builds.
Dr. Hector Carcamo, an entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Lethbridge, Alta., says that introducing a species to an area isn’t done without careful consideration of both the pest and the predator or parasite.
It’s incredibly important that introduced species are as pest-specific as possible, and in many circumstances already exist in the ecosystem — just perhaps not in sufficient numbers to act as effective control or suppression.
In this episode of the Pests & Predators podcast, Carcamo gives examples of which pests this idea of relocation has already worked well for, and what criteria is necessary to make the move.