Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Valuing the impacts of an invasive biological control agent: a choice experiment on the Asian ladybird in France.

Abstract

Initially used as a biological control against aphids, the Asian ladybird has become highly invasive in many regions, including Europe. While biological control is usually considered as an environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides in controlling pests in crops, there is growing concern that these environmental benefits could be outweighed by the negative consequences of the invasion. These include (i) biodiversity losses as populations of native ladybirds suffer from intraguild predation and competition for resources; (ii) human nuisance in houses, including risks of allergy and (iii) potential losses to wine-growers. We provide an economic valuation of environmental and private characteristics affected by the Asian ladybird's invasion. We conduct a discrete choice experiment among a representative sample of the French population. Our results show that the consequences of the Asian ladybird's introduction do affect significantly the population's welfare. Among these, the impact on biodiversity through the threat on native species appears to be a significant concern.