Working Group VIII: Biological Pesticides (Biopesticides)
- Publisher: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
(issn: 1651-2235, eissn: 1651-2235)
The control of insect pests of crops (in agriculture, horticulture, plantations, forestry) is a major factor which influences the productivity of cultivated land. In most situations control is achieved through the use of chemical insecticides. A variety of these products are on the market and in common usage. While chemical insecticides are relatively easy to mass produce, store and apply to crops, it has become apparent there are problems associated with their use. Specifically, their effects on non-target, beneficial insects (pollinators, scavengers), and their residues that accumulate and pollute the environment getting into the food chain and endangering particular species (predatory birds etc.). In addition, there is the build-up of resistance in the target and other species. This is a particular problem where, for example, an insecticide is used to control an agricultural pest and its use leads to the development of resistance in haematophagous insects (e.g. mosquitoes) that are vectors of animal and human diseases. Further, there are problems associated with both the manufacture and application of some chemical insecticides where protective clothing is not used or is inadequate and individuals receive overdoses of the chemicals with unwanted consequences. While such problems illustrate the risks associated with the use of chemical insecticides, the benefits are considerable, particularly in relation to the increased production of foods and their improved quality.