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Pest Control Potential of Social Wasps in Small Farms and Urban Gardens

1
Laboratório de Ecologia Comportamental e Bioacústica, Depto. de Zoologia, Programa de Pós-graduação em Comportamento e Biologia Animal, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora 36036-900, Brazil
2
Department of Zoology, University of Otago, 340 Great King Street, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(7), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10070192
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Small Farms and Gardens Pest Management)
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Abstract

In environments undergoing constant transformation due to human action, such as deforestation and urbanization, the emergence of pests has become a challenge for agriculture and human welfare. In Brazil, over a thousand tonnes of pesticides are used annually, causing serious environmental damage such as the decline of insect populations. It is necessary to search for control alternatives in order to reduce the environmental impact caused by insecticides. This review aims to describe the use of social wasps as agents of biological control, focusing on the perspectives of their use in small farms and urban gardens, and to discuss the benefits of using this method. Studies have shown that 90–95% of the prey captured by wasps in small crops is made of leaf-eating caterpillars. In urban gardens, wasps diversify their prey, among which potential disease vectors, such as dipterans, stand out. We outline techniques for managing social wasp colonies in small farm and urban garden settings, including the use of artificial shelters. Among the advantages of using wasps as control agents, we highlight the practicality of the method, the low operational cost, the absence of prey resistance and the decrease of the use of insecticides. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological control; artificial shelters; colony management biological control; artificial shelters; colony management
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Prezoto, F.; Maciel, T.T.; Detoni, M.; Mayorquin, A.Z.; Barbosa, B.C. Pest Control Potential of Social Wasps in Small Farms and Urban Gardens. Insects 2019, 10, 192.

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