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

Advantages

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

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