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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Sustainable Management of Invasive and Indigenous Insects of Urban Landscapes

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory

Title: Biological control of potato insect pest

item Weber, Donald

Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 7, 2012
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Citation: Weber, D.C. 2013. Biological control of potato insect pest . INSECT PESTS OF POTATO: BIOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT in Insect Pests of Potato: Global Perspectives on Biology and Management, eds.P. Giordanengo, C. Vincent, and A. Alyokhin. Academic Press, New York . p.399-437.

Technical Abstract: A variety of pest insects attack the potato crop and reduce yields. This book chapter reviews the known insect natural enemies for major potato pests around the world: Coleoptera (beetles) including Colorado potato beetle, 28-spotted lady beetle, and Andean potato weevil complex; potato tuber moths, and Homoptera including aphids and potato psyllid. Biological control, including insect predators and parasitoids, helps to suppress many of these pests. By itself however, biological control often fails to control economic damage to the crop. Knowledge of natural enemy habits, requirements, and efficacy is surprisingly incomplete. More effective biological control would reduce pesticide use with its associated risks to human health and the environment. For several of the major pests, biological control could play a much more important role if it was used in concert with appropriate cultural controls (like crop rotation), microbial controls (such as insect-infecting viruses), crop varieties which are resistant to pests, and selective chemical controls which suppress the pest more than they injure the natural enemies. Additional chapters in this book cover these other tactics of insect pest management. The conclusion considers current and future research needs for conservation biocontrol, augmentative and inundative biocontrol, classical and neoclassical biocontrol, as they will interact with existing and future technologies and practices across different growing regions.

Last Modified: 9/1/2015
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