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STRATEGIES FOR THE USE OF ENTOMOPATHOGENS IN THE CONTROL OF THE DESERT LOCUST AND OTHER ACRIDOID PESTS

  • C. Prior (a1) and D.A. Streett (a2)

Abstract

Large-scale applications of non-persistent but broad-spectrum chemical insecticides in Africa during the 1980s for control of acridoid pests, particularly the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria Forskål) and Sahelian pest grasshoppers, raised concern about environmental damage and human safety. Similar concerns have been expressed in Australia, the United States, and Canada and have led to a search for alternative strategies. To lessen dependence on chemicals, an integrated pest management (IPM) approach for grasshopper control has been encouraged in the United States with emphasis on biological control as an important component and this is also desirable elsewhere, but additional biocontrol components are needed. Current strategies for most pest acridoids rely on short-term destruction of outbreak populations. Nymphs are the preferred target wherever possible and inundative augmentation of entomopathogenic deuteromycete fungi formulated as biopesticides could replace chemical spraying in some cases, especially where the major threat is to crops remote from the pest breeding areas. Entomopathogens are slower acting than chemicals and thus best suited for use where the pest is not immediately threatening to crops. Schistocerca gregaria and Oedaleus senegalensis Krauss pose particularly difficult problems because of the very large area and inaccessibility of their potential breeding grounds, their very sudden upsurges, and their great mobility as adult swarms. Fast-acting chemicals are likely to be needed when rapid intervention is required to control these pests, but an IPM strategy could incorporate biopesticide application in the early stages of upsurges and also be used for swarm control in some cases. However, improved prediction and monitoring are needed to facilitate the use of biopesticides and other IPM techniques against these pests.

Au cours des années 1980, en Afrique, l'utilisation sur une grande échelle d'insecticides chimiques à action de courte durée mais à large spectre pour lutter contre les acridiens ravageurs, surtout le Criquet pèlerin, Schistocerca gregaria, et autres criquets ravageurs au Sahel, a soulevé des polémiques quant à leurs effets sur l'environnment et sur les populations humaines. Ces inquiétudes ont déjà été formulées en Australie, aux états-Unis et au Canada et elles ont suscité la recherche d'autres stratégies. Afin de diminuer l'utilisation des produits chimiques, un programme de lutte intégrée (IPM) contre les criquets, programme axé surtout sur la lutte biologique, a été mis sur pied aux états-Unis; la mise en oeuvre d'une telle pratique est nécessaire en d'autres endroits, mais elle doit comporter des composantes additionnelles de lutte biologique. En effet, les stratégies actuelles de lutte contre les acridiens reposent sur la destruction à court terme des populations epidémiques. Les larves doivent être la principale cible lorsque c'est possible, et l'utilisation en masse de champignons deutéromycètes entomopathogènes sous forme de biopesticides pourrait éventuellement remplacer les vaporisations chimiques en certains cas, particulièrement lorsque les cultures menacées sont éloignées des zones de reproduction des ravageurs. Les entomopathogènes ont une action plus lente que les pesticides chimiques et sont particulièrement appropriés aux endroits où les ravageurs ne constituent pas une menace immédiate pour les cultures. Schistocerca gregaria et Oedaleus senegalensis Krauss sont la cause de problèmes particulièrement difficiles à résoudre à cause de l'ampleur et de l'inaccesibilité de leurs territoires de reproduction potentiels, à cause de leur apparition épidémique et des déplacements considérables de nuées d'adultes. Des produits chimiques à action immédiate s'avèrent essentiels lorsqu'une intervention rapide est nécessaire pour lutter contre ces ravageurs, mais une stratégie de lutte intégrée pourrait comporter une application de biopesticides au début de l'épidémie et également une phase de lutte contre les nuées d'adultes en certains cas. Cependant, les méthodes de pronostic et de détection doivent être raffinées afin de rendre possible l'utilisation de biopesticides et d'autres techniques de lutte intégrée contre ces ravageurs. [Traduit par la Rédaction]

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STRATEGIES FOR THE USE OF ENTOMOPATHOGENS IN THE CONTROL OF THE DESERT LOCUST AND OTHER ACRIDOID PESTS

  • C. Prior (a1) and D.A. Streett (a2)

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