The use of parasitoids and predators in pest management systems has had a long, rich history. While there are a variety of impediments, there also exist many opportunities for a continuing and expanding role for parasitoids and predators in insect pest management. The continual influx of arthropod species from increased international trade results each year in new pests of agriculture and forestry (Sailer, 1978; Frank and McCoy, 1992) as well as major threats to nature conservation (U.S. Congress OTA, 1993). Changes in pest management tactics are resulting from environmental and human safety concerns, development of insecticide resistance, and increases in pesticide cost and availability. Public concerns over pesticide use have resulted in government action such as a mandated 50% cut in European countries' pesticide use (Matteson, 1995), the EPA, USDA and FDA initiative to implement IPM in the U.S. (U.S. Congress OTA, 1995), and FIFRA and FQPA requirements and tolerances for pesticides in the U.S. (EPA, 1997; Klassen, 1998).
Pesticides will remain a major component of IPM programs into the foreseeable future. However, the concerns outlined above dictate movement from pesticide-based pest management systems to more truly integrated insect pest management approaches, creating opportunities for increased inclusion of biologically based pest management tools such as parasitoids and predators.
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