Introduction

The interactions between insects and their natural enemies are essential ecological processes that contribute to the regulation of insect populations. In situations where this interaction is disrupted potential pest populations may develop unconstrained, and excessive population growth, which constitutes a pest outbreak, may occur. Pest outbreaks can occur when alien insects are introduced into new geographic areas without their natural enemies or when insecticides destroy natural enemy populations (Price, 1987). Insects can also become pests when dissociated from their natural enemies due to a habitat modification that differentially favours the pest, e.g. habitat simplification with a monoculture. The use of natural enemies in pest management is mainly concerned with redressing the imbalance that has occurred through this dissociation, whether by reintroducing natural enemies into the system or by trying to recreate conditions where an association can occur.

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