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.

Highlights
Okanagan Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Programme (OKSIR) in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Staff of the FAO/IAEA’s Insect Pest Control sub programme participated, as part of a team of 6 international experts, in an external review of the Okanagan Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Programme (OKSIR) in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. The OKSIR programme is the longest running (initiated in 1989) successful area-wide integrated pest management programme against the codling moth, a devastating pest of pome fruits in most temperate regions of the world. The programme integrates the release of sterile male moths with orchard sanitation and mating disruption. The group of experts reviewed in detail all technical and administrative aspects of the programme and was in general very much impressed by the obtained results of the programme, i.e. less than 0.2% damage in more than 90% of all commercial pome fruit orchards and a reduced use of insecticides (>70%) per hectare of orchard. A recently completed benefit cost analysis (BCA) has shown that the economic benefits per hectare of the OKSIR programme were much higher than compared with using conventional insecticides. Full Story »
FAO-IAEA advices Australia on the management of the nation’s major horticulture pest, the Queensland fruit fly. Some of Australia’s leading research agencies are better equipped to manage the Queensland fruit fly after receiving advice from the Insect Pest Control Subprogram of the FAO/IAEA Division for the application of nuclear techniques in food and agriculture. Funded by the Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIA) and several core co-investors, the SITplus partnership aims to develop the capability to integrate in pilot areas the Sterile Insect Technology – a well-known technology that could transform the way this pest is managed in Australia and potentially New Zealand. Full Story » Press Release »
Sterilized Anopheles arabiensis males compete with wild males in locating and participating in mating swarms in Sudan
					- Photo Copyright: www.msu.edu Sterilized Anopheles arabiensis males compete with wild males in locating and participating in mating swarms in Sudan. The application of the sterile insect technique (SIT) relies on the sterile males being able to mate with wild females after they are released. A study, recently published on the 12th December 2014 in Malaria Journal, by the Insect Pest Control Laboratory of the FAO/IAEA Agriculture & Biotechnology Laboratories in Austria in collaboration with the Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Sudan, demonstrated that irradiated Anopheles arabiensis males were able to locate and participate in mating swarms at a distance of up to 200 m within two hours of their release. Results also suggested that irradiated males may be able to initiate swarms, and point to the inclusion of a pre-release period as a means to increase their mating competitiveness. This observation crucially suggests that sterile males are able to participate and compete in courtship behaviour in the main mating arena observed in northern Sudan, the site along the Nile of a proposed pilot SIT programme against this vector of malaria, an encouraging indication of quality and performance of mass reared and irradiated male mosquitoes. Full Story »
Four devastating fruit flies pests are one and the same species, photo credit: Scott Bauer Four devastating fruit flies pests are one and the same species. What difference could it possibly make if a bunch of scientists decided that what were once thought of as four different species of fruit fly actually belong to the same single species? Plenty, if the fruit flies in question are major plant pests, which these ones are. Full Story »
Four in one – new discovery on pest fruit flies, photo credit: Ana Rodríguez Four in one – new discovery on pest fruit flies. Four of the world's most destructive agricultural pests are actually one and the same fruit fly, according to the results of a global interdisciplinary research effort, involving close to 50 researchers from 20 countries, that was coordinated by FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Full Story »

Previous Highlights