Integrated Pest Management in Agricultural Crops and Forest Ecosystems

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Pest and Vector Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2024 | Viewed by 18755

Special Issue Editors

Hellenic Agricultural Organization—"DEMETER", Forest Research Institute 570 06 Vasilika, Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: forest entomology; biogeography and distribution of forest insects; innovative methods to control the damaged caused by forest pests
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens, 11855 Athens, Attica, Greece
Interests: stored-product insects; stored product protection; insect behavior; chemical control
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The overuse of synthetic pesticides to control noxious arthropods in agroecosystems is of major importance due to health and environmental issues. Apart from concerns related to the negative impact of pesticides on humans, agricultural or domestic animals and the environment, they can also induce irreversible damage to beneficial organisms (e.g., parasitoids, predators, pollinators), disrupting the overall ecological stability of both forest ecosystems and agroecosystems. This impact is further magnified by the repeated application of insecticides that facilitates the emergence and development of resistance, particularly in agroecosystems. It is thus mandatory to develop alternative, environmentally friendly approaches (e.g., classical biological control, pheromone-based networks, green insecticidal formulations) that can be incorporated into integrated pest management (IPM) in target ecosystems

Dr. Nickolas G. Kavallieratos
Dr. Dimitrios Avtzis
Dr. Maria C. Boukouvala
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • field crops
  • forest ecosystems
  • alternative pesticides
  • biological control
  • pheromone-based systems

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 3347 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Three Attractants for the Effective Capture of Xylotrechus chinensis Adults in Multi-Funnel Traps
Insects 2023, 14(8), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14080676 - 31 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1027
Abstract
The Asian coleopteran Xylotrechus chinensis (Chevrolat) (Cerambycidae: Cerambycinae) is an invasive species in several European countries, attacking mulberry trees. In the current research, we evaluated the performance of three mixtures consisting of pheromones and attractants for the monitoring of X. chinensis adults. Attractant [...] Read more.
The Asian coleopteran Xylotrechus chinensis (Chevrolat) (Cerambycidae: Cerambycinae) is an invasive species in several European countries, attacking mulberry trees. In the current research, we evaluated the performance of three mixtures consisting of pheromones and attractants for the monitoring of X. chinensis adults. Attractant 1 (i.e., geranyl acetone, fuscumol acetate, fuscumol, monochamol, 3-hydroxyhexan-2-one, 2-methyl-1-butanol, anti-2,3-hexanediol, prionic acid + ethanol), attractant 2 (i.e., geranyl acetone, fuscumol acetate, fuscumol, monochamol, 3-hydroxyhexan-2-one, 2-methyl-1-butanol, anti-2,3-hexanediol, prionic acid + α-pinene + ethanol) and attractant 3 (i.e., geranyl acetone, fuscumol acetate, fuscumol, monochamol, 3-hydroxyhexan-2-one, 2-methyl-1-butanol, anti-2,3-hexanediol, prionic acid + α-pinene + ipsenol + ethanol) were baited in multi-funnel traps and installed in mulberries for a two-year period in Athens (Greece). The flight activity of X. chinensis starts at the end of April and terminates at the end of October. The peaks of X. chinensis flight activity were observed on 16 August 2021 and on 6 July 2022. Attractant 3 proved to be the most effective blend, catching 953 adults, followed by attractant 2 (523 adults) and attractant 1 (169 adults), throughout the experimental period. It seems that the pest was not attracted to the basic part of the blend (i.e., pheromones + ethanol). The incorporation of α-pinene and ipsenol resulted in the elevated activity of the base lure. The elevated performance of attractant 3 may be attributed to only the α-pinene and the ipsenol, or possibly the α-pinene, ipsenol, and ethanol, because the pheromone blend did not contain any of the pheromone components of the target species. Overall, attractant 3 could be a useful tool to detect and track X. chinensis in new invasive areas, triggering early management strategies against further establishment of this species. Full article
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12 pages, 1049 KiB  
Article
Parasitoid Wasp Acerophagus papayae: A Promising Solution for the Control of Papaya Mealybug Paracoccus marginatus in Cassava Fields in Vietnam
Insects 2023, 14(6), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060528 - 06 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1217
Abstract
Cassava is a valuable export commodity crop that is often attacked by pests, causing economic losses for this crop. The papaya mealybug Paracoccus marginatus has become a major pest of cassava in Vietnam. The parasitoid wasp Acerophagus papayae has been demonstrated to be [...] Read more.
Cassava is a valuable export commodity crop that is often attacked by pests, causing economic losses for this crop. The papaya mealybug Paracoccus marginatus has become a major pest of cassava in Vietnam. The parasitoid wasp Acerophagus papayae has been demonstrated to be the most efficient parasitoid wasp for controlling P. marginatus in many regions. We observed the occurrence of A. papayae in Vietnam, studied the biological characteristics of A. papayae, and investigated its parasitic activity on P. marginatus. The results showed that A. papayae occurred more frequently than Anagyrus loecki, another known parasitoid of P. marginatus. The lifespan of A. papayae was approximately 16 days. In the absence of hosts, a 50% honey solution was an essential diet to increase the longevity of both female and male of A. papayae. The second instar of P. marginatus was a suitable host stage for parasitism by A. papayae. Female A. papayae laid approximately 60.8 eggs within 17 days, mostly during the first 6 to 7 days. These findings suggest that A. papayae has the potential to control P. marginatus, and could inform the development of more effective pest management strategies for cassava crops in Vietnam and other regions affected by this pest. Full article
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11 pages, 1409 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Leptoglossus occidentalis Eggs and Egg Glue
Insects 2023, 14(4), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040396 - 19 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1390
Abstract
The western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910, Heteroptera: Coreidae) has a significant economic impact due to the reduction in the quality and viability of conifer seed crops; it can feed on up to 40 different species of conifers, showing a [...] Read more.
The western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910, Heteroptera: Coreidae) has a significant economic impact due to the reduction in the quality and viability of conifer seed crops; it can feed on up to 40 different species of conifers, showing a clear predilection for Pinus pinea L. in Europe. Its incidence is especially relevant for the pine nut-producing industry, given that the action of this pest insect can reduce the production of pine nuts by up to 25%. As part of ongoing efforts aimed at the design of control strategies for this insect, this work focuses on the characterization (by scanning electron microscopy–energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy, GC–MS) of the compounds released by these insects during oviposition, with emphasis on the adhesive secretion that holds L. occidentalis eggs together. Elemental analysis pointed to the presence of significant amounts of compounds with high nitrogen content. Functional groups identified by infrared spectroscopy were compatible with the presence of chitin, scleroproteins, LNSP-like and gelatin proteins, shellac wax analogs, and policosanol. Regarding the chemical species identified by GC–MS, eggs and glue hydromethanolic extracts shared constituents such as butyl citrate, dibutyl itaconate, tributyl aconitate, oleic acid, oleamide, erucamide, and palmitic acid, while eggs also showed stearic and linoleic acid-related compounds. Knowledge of this composition may allow advances in new strategies to address the problem caused by L. occidentalis. Full article
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15 pages, 1121 KiB  
Article
Trunk Injection with Insecticides Manages Xylotrechus chinensis (Chevrolat) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)
Insects 2022, 13(12), 1106; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13121106 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2127
Abstract
Xylotrechus chinensis (Chevrolat) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is a serious wood-boring insect of mulberry trees (Morus spp.). Larvae of this species enter the trunk of the tree and feed on woody tissues. Xylotrechus chinensis is endemic in several Asian countries, while, in the last [...] Read more.
Xylotrechus chinensis (Chevrolat) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is a serious wood-boring insect of mulberry trees (Morus spp.). Larvae of this species enter the trunk of the tree and feed on woody tissues. Xylotrechus chinensis is endemic in several Asian countries, while, in the last decade, it invaded Europe. In the present work, we evaluated trunk injection against this pest. The systemic insecticides fipronil, imidacloprid, and spirotetramat were used in the trials. Abamectin was used as a positive control since it has been found to be effective for the management of X. chinensis. Imidacloprid and fipronil proved to be highly effective against this species in both years (9.5 and 12.1 exit holes/tree in 2021, 5.0 and 8.8 exit holes/tree in 2022, respectively), while spirotetramat was the least effective. The lowest mean number of exit holes was recorded when abamectin was applied in both years (4.7 exit holes/tree in 2021 and 3.3 exit holes/tree in 2022). The percentage of exit holes was reduced by 76.1, 71.8, and 85.6% in trees treated with imidacloprid, fipronil, and abamectin, respectively, after two years of application, while spirotetramat caused a 37.4% reduction. Trunk injection with imidacloprid, fipronil, and abamectin could be used against X. chinensis for long-term control of mulberry trees. Full article
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9 pages, 1858 KiB  
Communication
Survival Rate of the Neotropical Stingless Bees Nannotrigona perilampoides and Frieseomelitta nigra after Exposure to Five Selected Insecticides, under Controlled Conditions
Insects 2022, 13(10), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13100961 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1649
Abstract
Insecticides used in agricultural pest management pose survival risks to the stingless bees that forage on crops in tropical and subtropical regions. In the present study, we evaluated, under laboratory conditions, the acute oral toxicity of five selected insecticides (dinotefuran, imidacloprid, flupyradifurone, spirotetramat, [...] Read more.
Insecticides used in agricultural pest management pose survival risks to the stingless bees that forage on crops in tropical and subtropical regions. In the present study, we evaluated, under laboratory conditions, the acute oral toxicity of five selected insecticides (dinotefuran, imidacloprid, flupyradifurone, spirotetramat, and cyantraniliprole) to two species of neotropical stingless bees: Nannotrigona perilampoides and Frieseomelitta nigra. At field recommended doses, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, and flupyradifurone caused the highest mortality in both bee species. These insecticides also caused the largest decrease in the survival rate when exposed to a 10-fold dilution of the field recommended doses. Notably, dinotefuran exerted a high effect even at 100-fold dilution (100% mortality). In contrast, cyantraniliprole had a low effect and spirotetramat was virtually nontoxic. These results suggest that some insecticides used to control sap-sucking insects may have a significant negative impact on the communities of stingless bees. Full article
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10 pages, 5022 KiB  
Article
Effect of Entomopathogenic Fungi, Beauveria bassiana (Cordycipitaceae), on the Bark Beetle, Ips typographus (L.), under Field Conditions
Insects 2022, 13(10), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13100885 - 29 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
The spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus (L.), attack progression (adult and larval galleries) and parental and offspring mortality rate were assessed in managed forests of the Poiana Ruscă and Bihor Mountains, along with Western Romanian Carpathians using fungal (Beauveria bassiana) treatments. [...] Read more.
The spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus (L.), attack progression (adult and larval galleries) and parental and offspring mortality rate were assessed in managed forests of the Poiana Ruscă and Bihor Mountains, along with Western Romanian Carpathians using fungal (Beauveria bassiana) treatments. The results show that the effect of B. bassiana on adult (maternal) gallery length was similar to the untreated variant and was less effective than the synthetic insecticide lambda-cyhalothrin applied at a dose of 50 g/L. Additionally, its effect on the mean larval gallery number per maternal gallery was low. B. bassiana did not have a significant influence on the attack progression. Significant correlations between log diameter and I. typographus attack progression were detected; such differences were higher than the effect of any treatment. Altogether, abiotic (low humidity, high temperature) and biotic factors (log diameter) influenced the bark beetles’ attack progression and reduced the entomopathogenic fungal effects. Considering the efficacy of the B. bassiana treatment on logs infested with I. typographus, the results showed that parents and offspring were infected, but even if the fungal treatment was applied in high concentrations, the mortality rate remained relatively low. Further research is necessary to test if different B. bassiana strains and their commercially recommended concentrations might be more effective under dry and warm climate conditions, respectively. Full article
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10 pages, 964 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of Biopesticides in the Management of the Cotton Bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Noctuidae), under Field Conditions
Insects 2022, 13(8), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13080673 - 27 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2285
Abstract
Cotton is one of the most valuable materials in the world, popularly used in the clothing industry and other products. However, its production is limited by the high infestation of insect pests. A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different biopesticides [...] Read more.
Cotton is one of the most valuable materials in the world, popularly used in the clothing industry and other products. However, its production is limited by the high infestation of insect pests. A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different biopesticides on the control of the African bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) under cotton field conditions. Four biopesticides—namely, Eco-Bb® (Beauveria bassiana), Bb endophyte (Beauveria bassiana), Bolldex® (Nucleopolyhedrovirus), and Delfin® (Bacillus thuringiensis)—were evaluated and compared with the pyrethroid Karate® (lambda-cyhalothrin) and an untreated control against H. armigera. Field trials were conducted at the Agriculture Research Council, Rustenburg, in the North West Province of South Africa during the 2017 and 2018 cotton seasons. The results revealed that in plots sprayed with Karate® and Bolldex®, the numbers of H. armigera were significantly reduced compared to the untreated controls. Plots treated with Bolldex® had the lowest number of damaged bolls in 2017, while those treated with Karate® had the lowest number of damaged bolls in 2018. All treated plots had significantly fewer damaged bolls when compared to the controls. A seed cotton yield of 5987 kg/ha was recorded in the plots that were treated with Bolldex®—significantly higher than the yields from plots treated with Eco-Bb®, Delfin®, and Bb endophyte—in 2017. However, the yield in treatments with Eco-Bb®, Delfin®, and Bb endophyte was lower than that from the untreated controls during this season. In 2018, plots treated with Bolldex® had the highest yield, at 6818 kg/ha, which was not different from the other treatments. The highest average seed cotton yield of 6400 kg/ha was recorded in the plots treated with Bolldex®, followed by Karate®. In summary, the efficacy of different biopesticides against H. armigera varied significantly, while the synthetic pesticide (Karate®) and Bolldex® resulted in more consistent control of this pest. The results suggest that biopesticides may, however, have the potential for use in the sustainable control of cotton bollworms as part of integrated pest management programmes, although further work is required to support this hypothesis. Full article
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11 pages, 1059 KiB  
Article
Population Fitness of Eupeodes corollae Fabricius (Diptera: Syrphidae) Feeding on Different Species of Aphids
Insects 2022, 13(6), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13060494 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2041
Abstract
Eupeodes corollae Fabricius, as one of the most common beneficial predatory insects in agricultural ecosystems, provides pollination and biological control services that help improve crop yield and maintain biodiversity. However, systematic research is needed on the species of aphids used for propagation. To [...] Read more.
Eupeodes corollae Fabricius, as one of the most common beneficial predatory insects in agricultural ecosystems, provides pollination and biological control services that help improve crop yield and maintain biodiversity. However, systematic research is needed on the species of aphids used for propagation. To develop highly fit populations of the important insect predator and crop pollinator, E. corollae, for research and commercial use, further research is needed to develop the most nutritious diet and efficient propagation methods. Here, the fitness of E. corollae was assessed in the laboratory after larvae were fed an aphid diet of Aphis craccivora Koch, Myzus persicae Sulzer or Megoura japonica Matsumura. The larval survival rate on M. japonica was significantly lower than on A. craccivora and M. persicae. The developmental duration for larvae (7.6 d) and pupae (6.9 d) was longest on A. craccivora. The pupal emergence rate on A. craccivora (98.0%) was significantly higher than on the other two, and lowest (64.7%) on M. japonica. On A. craccivora, M. persicae, and M. japonica, respectively, the generation time was 24.85 d, 23.12 d and 21.05 d; the value for the intrinsic rate of natural increase was 0.19, 0.20, and 0.21; and the value for the finite rate of increase was 1.21, 1.22, and 1.23. For flight variables, E. corollae attained the fastest velocity and longest distance and duration on M. japonica. The M. japonica diet, thus, provided the shortest generation time, the highest intrinsic rate of natural increase and finite rate of increase, the maximum fecundity and the greatest flight ability. Thus, to improve the survival rate of E. corollae larvae, A. craccivora or M. persicae can be used to feed newly hatched larvae, and M. japonica can be used for second- and third-instar larvae. These results provide a theoretical basis for feeding E. corollae and optimizing its ecosystem services. Full article
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Review

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35 pages, 2144 KiB  
Review
Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae): Current Status of Biology, Ecology, and Management in Europe with Notes from North America
Insects 2022, 13(9), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13090854 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4449
Abstract
The European Spongy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), is an abundant species found in oak woods in Central and Southern Europe, the Near East, and North Africa and is an important economic pest. It is a voracious eater and can completely defoliate [...] Read more.
The European Spongy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), is an abundant species found in oak woods in Central and Southern Europe, the Near East, and North Africa and is an important economic pest. It is a voracious eater and can completely defoliate entire trees; repeated severe defoliation can add to other stresses, such as weather extremes or human activities. Lymantria dispar is most destructive in its larval stage (caterpillars), stripping away foliage from a broad variety of trees (>500 species). Caterpillar infestation is an underestimated problem; medical literature reports that established populations of caterpillars may cause health problems to people and animals. Inflammatory reactions may occur in most individuals after exposure to setae, independent of previous exposure. Currently, chemical and mechanical methods, natural predators, and silvicultural practices are included for the control of this species. Various insecticides have been used for its control, often through aerial sprayings, which negatively affect biodiversity, frequently fail, and are inappropriate for urban/recreational areas. However, bioinsecticides based on various microorganisms (e.g., entomopathogenic viruses, bacteria, and fungi) as well as technologies such as mating disruption using sex pheromone traps have replaced insecticides for the management of L. dispar. Full article
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