Biological Control Section

IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and non-target organisms, and the environment.

Background History

Rice is the most important staple food crop, accounting for 20% in grain yield worldwide. Among the total acreage of rice, Asia shares 90%. Insect pests are the most consistent constraining factors in rice production, especially in the warm and humid Greater Mekong Subregion. Stem borers and rice leaf roller in particular are causing severe yield losses in rice production, often in the range of 10- 20%. The vast majority of rice growers in Southeast Asia use conventional methods of pest control, involving the application of broad-spectrum pesticides. This heavy use of highly toxic plant protection products has led to insecticide resistance in certain pests and caused frequent outbreaks of secondary pests due to the extermination of their natural enemies. The conventional pest management approach not only creates a fragile farming environment by destabilising agroecosystem equilibria, it also poses significant health risks to both farmers and consumers.


The objectives of the project are to ensure agro-ecosystem health, stable and sustainable rice production, and farmer health and consumer food safety in southwestern China, Laos and Myanmar through multi-regional research, capacity building and the implementation of biologically-based pest management suited to the local natural and social conditions and current and predicted climatic conditions.

More specifically, the project aims to establish biological control agent rearing facilities in the target region and to implement Integrated Pest Management practices, based on the produced agents. This training document is supposed to provide relevant knowledge to farmers on the concept of IPM and the identification and management of diseases in Myanmar rice production.

Principles and concepts of IPM

  1. IPM considers the whole agro-ecosystem including crops, environment, pests and their interactions;
  2. IPM strongly considers and support naturally-occurring pest control functions and aims to integrate all appropriate measures including cultural, biological and chemical measures;
  3. Action against any pest problem is only taken when economically and environmentally justified, based on careful monitoring of the crop and considering chemical pesticides only as a last resort;
  4. IPM emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems, reducing or minimizing risks to human health and the environment.

IPM measures


involves careful selection and improvement of farming practices, such as resistant varieties, field sanitation, crop timing and rotation, seed treatment, balanced fertilization, flooding before ploughing, and netted nursery, among others, so as to maintain healthy crops and create adverse conditions for pests to avoid or mitigate pest damage.

is one of the most important components of modern IPM systems. It involves the support/enhancement of naturally occurring and/or the active release of biological control agents to control pests. It is a safe, sustainable and economically viable control measure. It is, however, not always resulting in immediate suppression of pest population like expected from an effective chemical pesticide.

involves the use of chemical pesticides. Pesticides, if still effective, result in rapid control of pests, but most pesticides will also kill beneficial organisms, disrupting natural processes such as pest control. Moreover, pesticide application poses health risks to farmers and consumers, may cause resistance build up in pests and resurgence of secondary pests.

involves an exotic pest which is aimed to be controlled by the introduction of the pest’s natural enemies from the country of origin to a new location where they do not occur naturally. In many instances the complex of natural enemies associated with the exotic pest in the country of introduction is inadequate, making the introduction of natural enemies a viable option. However, this method is rarely used in IPM.

involves the supplemental release of natural enemies, boosting the naturally occurring population. Relatively few natural enemies may be released at a critical time of the season (inoculative release) or millions may be released (inundative release).

Involves the conservation or active support of existing natural enemies in an environment. This can be a simple and cost-effective approach because natural enemies are already adapted to the habitat and to the target pests. Cropping systems can be modified to favor natural enemies, such as the introduction of shelterbelts, hedgerows or flower strips which can help ensure the survival of populations of natural enemies. Nectar-rich plants that bloom for long periods are particularly effective, as many beneficial insects are depending on a sugar source during the adult stage.

Biological control agents


they prey upon insect pests, killing them immediately; typical examples are spiders, dragon flies, rove beetles, green plant bugs, lacewings, ladybirds (see below for adult and larval stage), but also frogs or insect-eating birds.

they deposit eggs on or inside insect pests and consume pests in either the egg, larval, pupal or even adult stage. They are often small insects and, due to adults being actively flying and larvae hiding inside hosts, cannot be easily observed on the crop. Below are two pictures showing the typical appearance of parasitoid wasps. An example of a very small egg parasitoid wasp is Trichogramma which is being mass produced in this project (see next page).

they infect and kill insect pests, and comprise of different groups including insect-pathogenic fungi, insect-pathogenic nematodes, nuclear polyhedrosis viruses or bacteria. As the name says they are very small organisms and only become visible when they mass reproduce on an infested host such as in the example below (diseased grub).


ဤအချက်အလက်များကိုInstitute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences၊ သီးနှံကာကွယ်ရေးဌာနခွဲနှင့် CABI တို့မှပူးပေါင်းပြုစုထားပါသည်။



  1. Plant Protection Station, Xingan, Guangxi
  2. Plant Protection Quarantine Station, Dehong, Yunnan
  3. Plant Protection Centre, Laos
  4. Tian Yi biological control co. LTD, Hengshui, Hebei
  5. International Rice Research Institute