Insect Pest Control
We assist FAO and IAEA Member States in the implementation of environmentally-friendly and sustainable methods to control major insect pests of crops and veterinary and human importance through strategic and applied research, technology transfer, capacity building, policy advice, information management, and technology transfer to field projects in Member States.
Our efforts focus on an area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) approach, with a sterile insect technique (SIT) component where feasible and required, to enhance food security, introduce sustainable agricultural systems, reduce losses and pesticide use, preserve biological diversity, and facilitate international trade in food and agricultural commodities by promoting the development and application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards. SIT does not involve transgenic (genetic engineering) processes.
|Announcements - Forthcoming Event|
Third FAO/IAEA International Conference on Area-wide Management of Insect Pests: Integrating the Sterile Insect and Related Nuclear and Other Techniques.
22 – 26 May 2017, IAEA/Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria.
This third conference will address technical, managerial and socio-economic components of operational area-wide programmes. The general purpose of the conference is to present to a wide audience new developments, trends and challenges related to insect pest management, both in the fields of agriculture and public health.
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|New Method Advances Research on Controlling Mosquitoes Using Nuclear Techniques. A pioneering method unveiled last month to separate a million Aedes male and female mosquitoes a day could be a major step towards using the nuclear-based sterile insect technique (SIT) to control the insects that transmit diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya. The prototype is capable of differentiating male and female mosquitoes via artificial vision and then eliminating the females with the use of laser beams. Read More »|
|IAEA Hosts Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Experts on Fight against Screwworm Pest. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is hosting an expert meeting this week to discuss stepping up efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean to combat the New World Screwworm, a flesh-eating pest that remains a threat to livestock in that region. Prior to its eradication in North and Central America using an integrated pest control approach with sterile insects, it caused economic losses estimated at over $1.5 billion per year. Read More »|
|The FAO/IAEA and USDA joined hands to help eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly outbreak from the Dominican Republic with assistance from regional organizations like IICA and OIRSA. Containment, suppression and eradication actions started since the first medfly detection in March 2015 using an area-wide integrated control based on the sterile insect technique (SIT). Substantial progress in the medfly eradication process has been made. Currently actions are being conducted over an area of 300 km2 where some localized and isolated medfly outbreaks still remain. Read More » Watch Photo Essay »|
|Research into fruit fly taxonomy adds knowledge of cryptic species on the family tree. Accurate fruit fly taxonomy is crucial to assess which species are present or absent in a given area. This, in turn, provides a scientific basis for countries to set up import regulations according to international phytosanitary standards and to develop appropriate and effective fruit fly surveillance and control methods including the sterile insect technique. A major study has now found several inaccuracies in current taxonomic classification. This has significant implications for international trade and for pest control strategies. Read More »|
9th Fruit Fly Meeting of the Western Hemisphere. The meeting was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from October 16 to 21, 2016. It was attended by 313 participants from 26
countries, including researchers from the scientific and academic field, plant protection officers from public agencies, fruit grower representatives and companies providing inputs and
services. One innovation at this meeting was the session on "Political and socio-economic analysis of action programs", consisting of a panel discussion with representatives of the
national plant protection agencies and regional organizations (OIRSA, NAPPO, CPHD, COSAVE and IICA).
Read More in Spanish and English »
|Special Issue on Inherited Sterility Programs against Moth Pests. Lepidopteran species are amongst the most damaging pests of food and fiber crops world-wide. However, in view of increased occurrence of resistance against insecticides, and their negative impacts on the environment, more effective and environmentally friendly methods are needed. Both the sterile insect technique (SIT), and the related inherited sterility (IS) technique offer great potential as additional moth management tools. From 2008 to 2014 an FAO/IAEA Coordinated Research Project focused on increasing the efficiency of Lepidoptera SIT/IS by enhanced sterile moth quality control. The research outputs of the CRP are have been published in 25 scientific articles compiled in a Special Issue of the Florida Entomologist. Read More »|
|Twenty years after eradication of tsetse from Zanzibar. September 2016 marks the 20th year after the successful eradication of tsetse flies from Unguja island of Zanzibar was declared. Mark Vreysen, Head of the Seibersdorf Laboratories of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division, describes the achievement and the resulting benefits to the inhabitants of Unguja Island. Read More »|
|Success stories on the use of the sterile insect technique (SIT) and other related nuclear techniques. The stories present a brief summary of the successful application of SIT for prevention, containment and eradication as well as other applications of nuclear energy such as for enhancing biological control. It also presents a topic related to fruit fly taxonomy that highlights the importance of accurate identification for SIT application. Read More »|
|Breakthrough IAEA Infrared Imaging Research Reveals Insect Development in Chrysalis. No one in the history of studying insects had ever observed fly pupae without first physically breaking their shells. That was until last month, when researchers at the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) used near infrared imaging to allow continuous observation of the entire development process of living pupae without disruption. Read More »|
Infrared Video Shows Tsetse Fly Development from Pupa to Adult. Researchers working at the Seibersdorf Laboratories of the Insect Pest Control Section have developed
a fascinating technique for sexing tsetse flies during the pupal phase. Sexing of insects reared for sterile male release is of great importance to the success of SIT, especially when
both sexes have the potential to transmit disease-causing parasites when they feed.
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|IAEA Impact: How a Nuclear Technique Helped Save the Western Cape’s Orange Industry. The sterile insect technique successfully applied to control false codling moth, substantially reducing damage and allowing effective control without the use of insecticides. Read More »|
Edward Knipling and Raymond Bushland Win Award for the Sterile Insect Technique. The technique has been heralded as “the only truly original innovation in insect
control in [the 20th] century”. The two demonstrated that they could inflict mass sterilization of insects through irradiation —one of the first peaceful uses of nuclear radiation.
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|Standard operation procedure manual for sterile Tsetse release. This manual describes the standard procedures involved in preparing tsetse flies reared in a breeding facility for release in the field for the sterile insect technique (SIT) as a component of Area-Wide Insect Pest Management (AW-IPM). Following the procedures outlined will help to ensure that the released sterile male tsetse flies are of optimal quality. Read More »|
|South Africa diversifies the use of the sterile insect technique (SIT) for pest control. South African Experts Advance in Researching Nuclear Technique to Fight Sugarcane Pests and Malaria. After the successful area-wide application of the SIT against the false codling moth in citrus areas, the South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) is now is developing with support from the IAEA and the FAO the technology for control of the Eldana moth, an economic pest of sugarcane in the country. Moreover, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has also made progress in developing the SIT against Anopheles arabiensis mosquito, which is a vector of malaria. Read More »|