How To Start A Pest Control Business
Insecticides are highly effective emergency action tools for IPM when insect pest populations approach or exceed economic thresholds. Insecticide production and use in the United States has seen astonishing growth over the past half century. The number of chemical compounds used for insect control has increased from less than 30 to many hundreds during this period however, over the past decade, insecticide use has decreased somewhat (source National Pesticide Use Database 2002) in part because of greater efficacy of newer insecticides and increasing reliance on IPM. Despite some advantages, much insecticide use has been ecologically unsound and application of insecticides has led to many environmental problems. The misuse, overuse, and unnecessary use of insecticides have been important factors in the growing interest in IPM, and indeed the IPM concept seeks to maximize the advantages and minimize the shortcomings of applying insecticides. The drawbacks are often carefully considered...
Successful ecological pest control needs to address the complex interactions between the pest and the abiotic and Biological organisms. Beneficial predators, parasites, and pathogens are often very effective at providing insect pest control. For example, ladybugs, lacewings, and certain mites are common predators of insects, and some tiny wasps and fly species are parasites of insects. Biological control organisms are usually very sensitive to pesticides, that is, broad-spectrum insecticides used on a regular long-term basis tend to eliminate populations of most parasites and predators (and increase the dependence on regular insecticide treatments). As a practical example, populations of predators and parasites have been maintained in cereal fields in Europe by leaving the margins of the crop untreated with insecticides.
Insects may be released as natural enemies of either invasive plants or invasive insects. Both biological weed control and biological insect control show a very high level of safety to vertebrate and human health. There are three safety issues when insects (herbivores, predators, or parasitoids) are imported to a new region (1) identification of unwanted contaminants in foreign shipments (2) recognition of organisms that, by virtue of their
Augmentative biological control starts with the discovery of a natural enemy that research suggests may be effective. The natural enemy must attack an important pest efficiently, be easily reared under mass production conditions, able to survive shipping, and be competitive in price with other forms of pest control available to growers.
Search for mortality processes that control population dynamics requires a clear definition of the term 'control' which has multiple meanings. Old debates on whether natural enemies of climate control population dynamics failed because of the lack of well-defined terms. The term 'control' implies a causation relationship between mortality process and the dynamics of population. Thus, a simple correlation between the mortality rate and pattern of population density through time is not a sufficient evidence of 'control'. The evidence on the effect of the mortality process on the population dynamics can be gathered either from intervention experiments, in which modification of the rate of mortality causes changes in the pattern of population dynamics, or from a computer simulation of such experiments assuming the model is enough realistic and was sufficiently validated. Numerous examples of intervention experiments are available in the area of pest control.
Much of the progress in insect genomics has been fuelled by the positive and negative impacts of insects on the environment, agriculture, health, and the economy across the globe. Limiting the damaging effects of insects has traditionally involved their control through the use of pesticides, but with variable and seemingly declining success. Novel approaches to insect control require a detailed understanding of insect biology, to facilitate highly targeted interventions that address specific pests while limiting possible ecological knock-on effects. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms that underpin the key processes of insect innate immunity, and the metabolism of drugs and xenobiotics, is therefore of utmost importance. The recent rapid progress in genomics of innate immunity in disease vector insects reflects the great social relevance of these diseases.
Temporal and spatial trends of the insect pest) of area-wide pest control. The utilization of SEPMs in IPM should continue to increase because (1) spatial heterogeneity is a critical factor in population dynamics, that is, averaging population density over space often leads to unrealistic results and (2) transition of pest management practices from the local level to the landscape level requires spatial population models.
Managing infestations of certain pests through crop rotation (e.g., planting corn, Zea mays L., and a nonhost crop such as soybean, Glycine max L., in alternative years) has historically been an effective approach however, the effectiveness of crop rotation for managing many pests (e.g., western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) has begun to fail in many areas of the United States. Recent experimental investigations and model development efforts have shed some light on the population dynamics and behavior of the rotation-resistant phenotype. In addition, there has been growing interest in understanding and modeling pest resistance mechanisms against genetically modified insecticidal pest-resistant crops. Transgenic crops express Bt genes which produce insecticidal proteins (Bt toxins) and provide pest control however, widespread and long-term planting of Bt crops makes pest resistance more probable because it increases pest exposure to Bt toxins in space and over...
Culling has been a common method for pest control and ecosystem management. Despite different formats such as shooting, trapping and crop spraying, culling often takes place at certain particular times only. These culling times are regulated by many factors including the maturation status of individuals of the species involved. For example, crop spraying may be exercised at certain times coinciding with critical stages in the insects' development.
If we aim to control pests and diseases on farms and in commercial forests, by means other than chemical pesticides, one approach is to ask whether we can learn by studying more natural ecosystems. Fungi and insects do not wipe out all the other species in those systems, so in some sense they must be under control. Maybe this can give us ideas on how to control them in our more artificial systems. This section describes some examples of insects and diseases that attack wild plants and animals, and considers whether there are any useful messages for pest control.
These case studies were all success stories. This should not, however, blind us to the fact that many attempts at biological control have failed. Waage and Greathead (1988) summarized the success rate of insect species that were introduced for biological control of insect pests and weeds. Of the species that became established, only 40 of those aimed at insect control and 31 of those aimed at weed control were 'substantially successful'. This does not take account of species that were introduced but did not establish, for which records may not always be kept. Sometimes a control agent has failed to establish at the first attempt, yet later it has succeeded in establishing and has provided effective pest control. An example is myxomatosis in rabbits (Thompson & King 1994). In the late 1930s there were several unsuccessful attempts to introduce myxomatosis in parts of Europe and test releases in Australia in the 1930s and 1940s were considered a failure because the disease did not...
This chapter has considered most of the methods for pest control listed in Box 8.1, but it considered them one at a time. Integrated pest management was mentioned early in the chapter. To some people this seems to mean any way of reducing the amounts of chemical pesticides used for example, it might include using the pesticide at the most effective time of year, and just enough for economically acceptable control of the pest. A more straightforward meaning for integrated pest management is that we use several of the available methods (Box 8.1), and in such a way that they complement and reinforce each other. Integrated pest management systems have been developed for some crops in some areas. Metcalf and Luckman (1994) provide chapters on its application to control of insect pests of cotton and apple. Cussans (1995) discusses its application to weed control.
Life tables have also been calculated by the second method, using dead stoats collected in the course of pest control operations in National Parks in New Zealand (Powell & King 1997) and on game estates in Britain (McDonald & Harris 1999). This method also has its problems, but if they can be overcome, a life table can be developed in a shorter time. The validity of the technique depends entirely on three prerequisites
FIGURE 7.6 Succession of pest control paradigms that started after World War II with chemical pesticides. FIGURE 7.6 Succession of pest control paradigms that started after World War II with chemical pesticides. Foundations of exotic control rest on the long history of pest control, especially in agriculture and forestry in terms of diseases, weeds, and insects. A tremendous amount of knowledge has accumulated on the subject over a long history. However, modern pest management essentially dates from after World War II when agricultural production and pesticide use expanded greatly. A succession of paradigms has emerged (Figure 7.6) but pest problems continue to accelerate. The consensus is that eradication is often impossible, and even control is difficult. At best some form of management is the most reasonable goal (National Research Council NRC , 1996b). The primary tools for controlling many exotic species are still chemical pesticides, which have positive and negative aspects...
Organochlorine pesticides were introduced in the 1940s to replace the acutely toxic arsenical pesticides that had been their principal predecessors. They were used extensively in agriculture, in forestry, in the control of insect-borne diseases such as malaria and typhus, and for pest control in homes and neighborhoods. Among the most commonly used organochlorines were (DDT) and the termiticide chlordane (a mixture of at least fifty different compounds with the majority constituents being cis and trans chlordane heptachlor cis and trans nonachlor alpha, beta, and gamma chlordane). The general mechanism of the organochlorine pesticides' toxicity in insects is central nervous system stimulation and or depression, depending on the compound and dose. Because the compounds showed little or no acute toxicity in humans, they were initially believed to be safe.
Traditional views of herbivorous and detritivorous insects as destructive, or at least nuisances, and ecological communities as nonintegrated, random assemblages of species supported harsh control measures. Early approaches to insect control included arsenicals, although much classic research on population regulation by predators and parasites also occurred prior to World War II. With the advent of broad-spectrum, long-lived, chlorinated hydrocarbons and organophos-phates, developed as nerve toxins and used for control of disease vectors in combat zones during World War II, management of insects seemed assured. However, reliance on these insecticides exposed many target species to intense selection over successive generations and led to rapid development of resistant populations of many species (Soderlund and Bloomquist 1990). Concurrently, movement of the toxins through food webs resulted in adverse environmental consequences that became widely known in the 1960s through publication...
Economics and sustainability are intimately tied together. Market forces ensure that uneconomic practices are not sustainable. One might imagine that the aim of pest control is always total eradication of the pest, but this is not the general rule. Rather, the aim is to reduce the pest population to a level at which it does not pay to achieve yet more control (the economic injury level or EIL). Our discussion here is informed particularly by the theory covered in Chapter 14, which dealt with the combination of factors that determines a species' average abundance and fluctuations about that average. The EIL for a hypothetical pest is illustrated in Figure 15.1a it is greater than zero (eradication is not profitable) but it is also below the typical, average abundance of the species. If the species was naturally self-limited to a density below the EIL, then it would never make economic sense to apply 'control' measures, and the
The use of inorganics goes back to the dawn of pest control and, along with the botanicals (below), they were the chemical weapons of the expanding army of insect pest managers of the 19th and early 20th century. They are usually metallic compounds or salts of copper, sulfur, arsenic or lead - and are primarily stomach poisons (i.e. they are ineffective as contact poisons) and they are therefore effective only against insects with chewing mouthparts. This, coupled with their legacy of persistent, broadly toxic metallic residues, has led now to their virtual abandonment (Horn, 1988).
Biological control is a form of pest control that uses living organisms (parasitoids, predators, or herbivorous arthropods) to suppress a pest's density to lower levels. There are four kinds of biological control, two of which - classical biological control and augmentative biological control - are discussed in this article and two others - conservation biological control and biopesticides - that are discussed in Biological Control Models. Biological control has important advantages compared to other methods of pest control. Classical biological control is often cheaper and less polluting than use of pesticides, because pest control is relatively permanent and does not require annual retreatment. Initial costs of classical biological control are high, for discovery, importation, testing, and initial release of new natural enemies. However, costs drop to low or even zero levels in later years, while the benefits of the pest control achieved continue to accrue for years. For...
Living and extinct xenarthrans are endemic to the New World and distinguished from all other living and extinct mammals by their extra joint articulations (xenarthrous articulation) bracing the lumbar vertebrae (xenarthra means strange joints ). In most mammals, the vertebrae articulate with each other by two dorsal bony processes (zygapophyses), but xenarthran vertebrae also have lateral vertebral articular processes with dorsal and ventral arms. Some xenarthrans, primarily anteaters and armadillos, play an important ecological role in insect control.
The use of synthetic compounds to control pests began in the 1930s and became more widespread after the end of World War II. First-generation pesticides were largely highly toxic compounds, such as arsenic and hydrogen cyanide. Their use was largely abandoned because they were ineffective or too toxic. The second-generation pesticides largely included synthetic organic compounds. From about 1945 to 1965, organochlorines were used extensively in all aspects of agriculture and forestry, in protecting wooden buildings and protecting humans from a wide variety of insect pests. In recent years, chemical pesticides have become the most important consciously applied form of pest management. For crops in some areas, alternative forms of pest control are still heavily used, such as burning, rotation, or tillage. The wide use of synthetic pesticides (fungicides, bactericides, nematicides, insecticides, herbicides) dominates high-input production agriculture and forestry. In intensive cropping...
There is a long history of interplay between the development of population models and biological control. The early successes of biological control in its 'classical' form, such as the control of cottony-cushion scale (Icerya purchasi Mask.) in California following the introduction of the predatory vedalia beetle (Rodolia cardinalis (Muls)) from Australia in the late 1880s, provided stimulation to the development of early population dynamics theory. Since the 1930s, models have been used in attempts to develop a comprehensive theoretical foundation for biological control. The extent of use of general population models in biological control practice has, however, been limited, and this form of pest control has often been criticised for being ad hoc. Modeling attempts over the last two decades, however, have made significant advances in our understanding of the biological process and are beginning to help refine its practice.
Importation of biological control agents is a government activity for the common good. Funds for such work are typically provided by governments, but may in some cases come from grower organizations representing particular crops in a region. Costs of projects are concentrated at the beginning of the work, as costs to search for and study new candidate natural enemies are high. Use of proven biological control agents in newly invaded locations as the pest spreads is cheaper, as much of the initial work will not have to be repeated and known natural enemies can quickly be introduced. Benefits of successful projects accrue indefinitely into the future and benefit-to-cost ratios of past projects have averaged 17 1, with some projects having much higher ratios, of 100 or even 200 1. In successful programs, control is permanent and does not require continued annual investments to sustain the benefits, in contrast to other forms of pest control (e.g., pesticide applications). This makes the...
Methods have been developed to rear a variety of species of predators and parasitoids at commercial levels. Augmentative biological control is based on the user purchasing and releasing the natural enemies needed for his crop. This approach to pest control began in greenhouse-grown tomatoes with Encarsia formosa Gahan, a parasitoid of the greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum Westwood ), which was first reared commercially by English growers in the 1920s. Modern augmentative biological control began in the 1970s when Dutch greenhouse tomato growers revived E. formosa rearing as a commercial activity because whiteflies in their greenhouses had developed pesticide resistance. From 1970 to 2006, the number of commercial insectaries producing parasitoids and predators for pest control grew to several dozen firms, which collectively produce about 100 species of natural enemies for use in
Russia, China, and other countries, large-scale releases of Trichogramma spp. have been made for a variety ofmoth and beetle pests of corn, sorghum, and cotton, but the efficacy of these releases has not been well demonstrated. In some instances, these activities have been state-supported and their actual economic value for pest control is not clear.
Insect infestations can cause a significant decrease in crop productivity. Infestations have been historically difficult to control without the use of highly toxic synthetic chemicals. The most well known biopesticides for insect control are the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) formulations for the control of lepidopterous pests. This bacterium produces a protein that by itself is harmless to most insects, but is converted to a potent toxin in the gut of specific target insects following ingestion. The mode of action of Bt is very specific. Different strains of Bt are specific to different receptors in the gut wall of insects. Bt toxicity depends on recognizing
Approach to pest control, but examples are coming to light where even carefully chosen and apparently successful introductions of biological control agents have impacted on nontarget species. For example, a seed-feeding weevil (Rhinocyllus conicus), introduced to North America to control exotic Carduus thistles, attacks more than 30 of native thistles (of which there are more than 90 species), reducing thistle densities (by 90 in the case of the Platte thistle Cirsuim canescens) with consequent adverse impacts on the populations of a native picture-winged fly (Paracantha culta) that feeds on thistle seeds (Louda et al., 2003a). Louda et al. (2003b) reviewed 10 biological control projects that included the unusual but worthwhile step of monitoring nontarget effects and concluded that relatives of the target species were most likely to be attacked whilst rare native species were particularly susceptible. Their recommendations for management included the avoidance of generalist control...
High productivity and high net gross productivity ratios in crops are maintained by large inputs of energy involved in cultivation, irrigation, fertilization, genetic selection, and pest control. The fuel used to power farm machinery is just as much an energy input as sunlight for example, the energy subsidy input into agriculture in the United States increased tenfold between 1900 and the 1980s.
Order Chiroptera (Greek for hand wing ) contains the only mammals that have evolved true flight (colugos and flying squirrels are gliders, not flyers). Living bats compose the second largest mammalian order (constituting about a fourth of all living mammals), and they play important ecological roles in insect control, pollination, seed dispersal, and fertilizer production.