Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Biological pest control in Mexico.

Abstract

Mexico is a megadiverse country that forms part of the Mesoamerican biological corridor that connects North and South America. Mexico's biogeographical situation places it at risk from invasive exotic insect pests that enter from the United States, Central America, or the Caribbean. In this review we analyze the factors that contributed to some highly successful past programs involving classical biological control and/or the sterile insect technique (SIT). The present situation is then examined with reference to biological control, including SIT programs, targeted at seven major pests, with varying degrees of success. Finally, we analyze the current threats facing Mexico's agriculture industry from invasive pests that have recently entered the country or are about to do so. We conclude that despite a number of shortcomings, Mexico is better set to develop biological control-based pest control programs, particularly on an area-wide basis, than many other Latin American countries are. Classical and augmentative biological control and SIT-based programs are likely to provide effective and sustainable options for control of native and exotic pests, particularly when integrated into technology packages that meet farmers' needs across the great diversity of production systems in Mexico.