Biological control in the remaining Caribbean islands

Lenteren, J.C. van; Bueno, V.H.P.


Biological control activities on 18 (groups of) Caribbean islands are summarized. Many natural enemies were introduced to these islands through Trinidad and Tobago up to 1980. Also, inter-island exchange of biocontrol agents took place. The majority of projects concerned classical biocontrol, while in some cases natural, conservation and augmentation biocontrol were used. Successes were obtained with biocontrol of pests in crops such as arrowroot, citrus, coconut, cotton and sugarcane and of weeds like prickly pear and puncture vine. After 1980, the number of natural enemy introductions decreased, though the region was faced with many invasions by exotic pests, including the citrus leaf miner, citrus blackfly, papaya mealybug, giant African snail, coconut whitefly and pink hibiscus mealybug. Two large region-wide programmes resulted in successful biocontrol of the pink hibiscus mealybug and the papaya mealybug. In addition, biocontrol by a native natural enemy complex was demonstrated for the coconut whitefly and the passion vine mealybug. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Code of Conduct for the Import and Release of Exotic Biological Control Agents has recently been applied in the region. Farmers Field Schools, with the aim to enable farmers to use IPM and become less dependent on chemical pesticides, are being implemented.