Books & Proceedings

Area-Wide Control Insect Pests Area-Wide Control Insect Pests. From Research to Field Implementation.
Editors: M.J.B. Vreysen, A.S. Robinson and J. Hendrichs.

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A new textbook on the Area-wide Control of Insect Pests: From Research to Field Implementation has been published through Springer, The Netherlands (789 pp). The chapters in this text book originate from the 2nd FAO/IAEA International Conference on Area-wide Control of Insect Pests, including several invited chapters that complete the book. Area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) is a coordinated, sustainable and preventive approach that targets entire pest populations. It aims at integrating environment-friendly control measures such as the Sterile Insect Technique, to reduce losses and insecticide use, and to facilitate the expansion of international agricultural trade, while minimizing the further global spread of some major invasive pests.

Currently, the control of many highly mobile and very destructive insect pests is still carried out, for the most part, by individual producers who rely heavily on the use of insecticides. Although other control technologies are often incorporated into the producer's IPM system, these technologies, too, are usually applied by producers independently of other producers, and without due consideration of surrounding host and non-host areas. Such an uncoordinated farm-by-farm IPM approach provides opportunities for the pest population to build up and to establish damaging infestations in non-commercial areas.

Consequently, insect pest populations can increase to damaging levels each year, and the farmer is forced to apply fast-acting insecticides as a rescue treatment. This defeats the primary goal of the IPM system, which is to take maximum advantage of naturally occurring biological control agents. Similarly in combating pests and pathogens of concern to human and animal well-being, less than thorough treatment of the entire population fails to provide durable relief. Thus the key concept of the AW-IPM strategy is to address the whole pest population including all places of refuge or foci of infestation from which recruits could come to re-establish damaging densities of the pest population in areas of concern.

Many of the economically most damaging pests are invasive alien species that have escaped the constraints, which keep their populations in check in their regions of origin. In North America roughly one-half of the major pests originated abroad, and this seems also to be true in other continents. Major exotic pests and pathogens - many adapted for wide dispersal and high rates of reproduction - are becoming established with increasing frequencies on all continents and on many ecologically sensitive islands. Therefore, to facilitate the expansion of international agricultural trade while minimizing the further spread of some major pests, commodities of which they are hosts are increasingly produced for export in pest free areas or in areas of low pest prevalence that obtained their favourable phytosanitary status through AW-IPM approaches.