Sterile Insect Technique, Insect Pest Control

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.

Highlights
Nuclear Technique Helps Dominican Republic Eradicate Insect Pest That Hurt Agricultural Sector Nuclear Technique Helps Dominican Republic Eradicate Insect Pest That Hurt Agricultural Sector. The Dominican Republic today officially declared in a ceremony in the capital Santo Domingo that it has eradicated a major agricultural pest, the Mediterranean fruit fly, and that it is now free of the insect, two years after an outbreak led to considerable damage to its agricultural industry. The IAEA, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other stakeholders, provided assistance to the Dominican Republic to suppress the agricultural pest using the Sterile Insect Technique. Read More »
Prevention Rather Than Crisis Reaction Protects US Horticulture Industry from Medflies Prevention Rather Than Crisis Reaction Protects US Horticulture Industry from Medflies. One piece of fruit in a traveller’s backpack portends disaster if the fruit also contains hitchhiking larvae of the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) – larvae that could escape inspection at port of entry and initiate an infestation. In the mid-1990s, California and Florida, the main USA horticulture-producing states, initiated area-wide preventive and continuous releases of sterile male medflies over high-risk areas – a pest control endeavour that has substantially reduced overall cost and prevented establishment of the pest. Read More »
Third FAO/IAEA International Conference on Area-wide Management of Insect Pests: Integrating the Sterile Insect and Related Nuclear and Other Techniques Third FAO/IAEA International Conference on Area-wide Management of Insect Pests: Integrating the Sterile Insect and Related Nuclear and Other Techniques. The Conference was held from 22 - 26 May 2017 at the Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria. The successful conference was attended by 360 delegates from 81 countries, six international organization, and nine exhibitors. See all presentations »
Stinging Wasps Replace Chemical Pesticides becoming Control Agents in Fighting Stable Flies Stinging Wasps Replace Chemical Pesticides becoming Control Agents in Fighting Stable Flies. Costa Rica’s position as the world’s largest producer of pineapple brings with it a parallel problem for the country’s livestock and dairy industry: the aggressive and blood-sucking stable fly, a fly that can wreak havoc on cattle and affect their productivity. In efforts to control the fly without resorting to chemical spraying, Costa Rica resorts to using a wasp, a natural enemy of the stable fly, as a biocontrol agent. Read More »
Fewer Flies, More Fruit in Jordan Valley Orchards Fewer Flies, More Fruit in Jordan Valley Orchards. In the Jordan Valley over 1.5 million sterilized flies are released twice a week in a selected area of 400 hectares of citrus and stone fruits, leading to medfly population suppression and effective protection of fruit production with no harm to the environment. Read More »
Area-wide Management of Insect Pests: Integrating the Sterile Insect and Related Nuclear and Other Techniques The Third FAO/IAEA International Conference on Area-wide Management of Insect Pests: Integrating the Sterile Insect and Related Nuclear and Other Techniques is taking place this week in Vienna, Austria, to discuss new developments, trends and challenges related to insect pest management. The conference is part of the efforts of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture to assist Member States address the rapidly evolving field of insect pest management. See video on area-wide insect pest management. View Video »
At the Mexico-Guatemala border, the sterile insect technique halts the northward march of medflies since 1982 At the Mexico-Guatemala border, the sterile insect technique halts the northward march of medflies since 1982. Imagine an area of nearly 200 000 km2 that needs to be monitored on a daily basis – monitored for the presence of a destructive insect smaller than a fingernail. More than four decades ago the governments of Mexico, Guatemala and the United States, and later also Belize, agreed to work together to eradicate and contain the spread of the Mediterranean fruit fly through an effective area-wide integrated pest management technology involving the sterile insect technique. Read More »
International Database on Commodity Tolerance (IDCT) International Database on Commodity Tolerance (IDCT). A source of information that gathers and interprets the literature about commodity quality after phytosanitary irradiation treatment. It should aid stakeholders in Member States to identify the doses of radiation that are tolerated by different commodities including fresh fruits, vegetables and cut flowers in planning for commercial use of the technology. The information may also help users of the technology determine optimum methods of applying irradiation and scientists to identify gaps and inconsistencies in current knowledge. Read More »
IAEA Helps Burkina Faso Scale Up Fight Against Tsetse Flies IAEA Helps Burkina Faso Scale Up Fight Against Tsetse Flies. Burkina Faso today inaugurated the largest insect rearing facility in West Africa to apply a nuclear technique to suppress the tsetse fly, an insect harmful to both humans and animals. The plant was built with the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in a move to help control one of Africa’s most devastating cattle diseases, Nagana. Read More »
Teamwork Award from FAO-AG Department to IPPC-IAEA Joint Team on the Fruit Fly Standards Teamwork Award from FAO-AG Department to IPPC-IAEA Joint Team on the Fruit Fly Standards. On 26 January 2017 an award for exceptional teamwork was conferred on the cross-UN agency team consisting of staff from the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, and staff from the Standard setting unit of the IPPC Secretariat. The award is an honour bestowed upon staff of the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department of FAO who carry out activities through exceptional teamwork that have a major impact on meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the FAO strategic objectives. Read More »
Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Fruit Flies of Economic Importance Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Fruit Flies of Economic Importance. The Symposium took place in May 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. The document contains thirty-four papers on a broad range of topics concerning fruit flies, including area-wide programmes, control methods and supporting technology, chemical ecology and attractants, biology, ecology, physiology and behaviour, the Sterile Insect Technique, natural enemies and biological control, and risk analysis. Read More »
New Method Advances Research on Controlling Mosquitoes Using Nuclear Techniques 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 »

Previous Highlights