Submitted to: American Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 10, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Managing insect pests with less pesticide requires precision in applying materials so that control can be achieved with a minimum amount of insecticide. Ideally, this could be achieved if the precise total distribution of a pest could be determined and displayed as a map. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL, have devised a simple method for measuring and display insect pest distributions based on the same principles used to make contour maps. Data from monitoring traps are analyzed using spatial statistics (geostatistics) to construct detailed contour maps showing the total distribution of the pest within the structure or property being monitored. Using this "precision targeting" map, pest management practitioners can direct any number of integrated pest management tools (pesticides, vacuum devices, sticky traps, etc.) at the foci of these population centers. Post-treatment contour maps reveal the extent of the control and where additional interventions may be needed. The procedures described by the scientists can be done with commercially-available software to achieve maximum pest management with minimum environmental contamination, and minimal knowledge about the behavior and biology of these pests.
Technical Abstract: In both agricultural and non-agricultural settings, common practice of sustainable IPM programs that meet mandates of less pesticide use will require simple functional procedures that tolerate varying levels of skill among practitioners while allowing a high level of customized service. This paper presents case studies using data on cockroaches and stored products pests to illustrate the use of spatial statistics (geostatistics) to generate quantitative and qualitative maps of pest distribution. These procedures ensure that population distributions can be determined objectively and are relatively independent of the skill level of practitioners. The software program VARIOWIN was used to conduct rigorous variography to illustrate that simple linear kriging with a zero nugget is a sufficient algorithm to characterize population foci for precision targeting interventions. Golden Software's SURFER program was used to generate contour maps that show pre- and post-interventional efficacy, and also to quantify areas treated. These procedures also have utility in risk assessment, and are the basis for developing standardized procedures for Dept. of Defense to meet mandates on pesticide reduction.