Location: Pest Management ResearchTitle: Grasshoppers and other orthopteran pests
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Grasshoppers, locusts and katydids are some of the most destructive pests in the world. Species persist in sparsely inhabited regions and migrate long distances during outbreaks. As a result, vast areas are consistently monitored on the ground and remotely to provide sufficient warning of population outbreaks and potential movement into cereal crops. Populations grow and recede over many years which can result in relaxation of surveying efforts and loss of key knowledge. Diet is an important determinant of migratory behavior of the pests en masse, and dietary deficiencies play important roles in the insects’ defenses against microbes. Microbial applications for locust control, in particular, are expanding in Australia, Africa and Asia. Research on basic biology, such as environmental factors affecting population growth and predation pressures, improved outreach to remote areas for surveying, and construction of automated interfaces for tracking migratory movements will all assist forecasting and early suppression of the pests. Long distance movement of these pests across political boundaries makes sustained national and international funding and coordination of management paramount for global food security.
Technical Abstract: Grasshoppers, locusts and katydids are some of the most destructive pests in the world. Because they typically feed on a wide range of plants, consistent monitoring over vast areas is required to provide sufficient warning of population outbreaks. The long term cycling of populations can also result in relaxation of surveying efforts and loss of key knowledge, which challenge efforts to restore control during increases in population abundance. Diet is an important determinant of migratory behavior en masse, and diet also plays an important role in the insects’ defenses against microbes. Microbial application for locust control, in particular, is expanding. Understanding basic biology, improved outreach to remote areas for surveying, and tracking of migratory movements will all assist in improving forecasting and suppression of pest Orthoptera. Long distance movement of the pests makes national and international funding and coordination paramount for global food security.