Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Microbial Control of Insects

  • Lawrence A. Lacey
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_4589

A wide variety of pathogenic organisms (virus, bacteria, protozoa, fungi and nematodes) attack insects and result in reductions in insect numbers within natural ecosystems, agroecosystems, and domestic settings. Natural epizootics of insect disease can result in spectacular declines in insect populations of economic and medical importance. However, dependence upon naturally occurring epizootics for insect control can be risky when economic thresholds might be surpassed, or when plant and animal diseases could be transmitted by the insects before they succumb to disease. Microbial control of insects is the concerted use of insect-specific pathogens and nematodes for the biological control of insects. Microbial pesticides have a number of advantages over conventional chemical pesticides. Although the advantages of microbial pesticides are numerous, some of their characteristics are regarded as disadvantages.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Entomopathogens for Insect Control


  • spe...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Burges HD (ed) (1981) Microbial control of pests and plant diseases 1970–1980. Academic Press, London, UK, 949 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Gaugler R (2002) Entomopathogenic nematology. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, 402 ppCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Grewal PS, Ehlers RU, Shapiro-Ilan DI (eds) (2005) Nematodes as biological control agents. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, Oxon, UK, 480 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Hunter-Fujita FR, Entwistle PF, Evans HF, Crook NE (eds) (1998) Insect viruses and pest management. Wiley, Chichester, UK, 632 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Lacey LA, Kaya HK (eds) (2007) Field manual of techniques in invertebrate pathology: application and evaluation of pathogens for control of insects and other invertebrate pests, 2nd edn. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 868 ppGoogle Scholar
  6. Lacey LA, Frutos R, Kaya HK, Vail P (2001) Insect pathogens as biological control agents: do they have a future? Biol Control 21:230–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Miller LK (ed) (1997) The Baculoviruses. Plenum Press, New York, NY, 468 ppGoogle Scholar
  8. Tanada Y, Kaya HK (1993) Insect pathology. Academic Press, New York, NY, 666 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence A. Lacey
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA-ARSWapatoUSA