Biological insecticides

Recent efforts to reduce the impact of broad-spectrum chemical pesticides have brought biological insecticides back into vogue.

An example is the development and increase in use of "Bacillus thuringiensis", a bacterial disease of Lepidoptera, Coleoptera and Diptera. Because it has little effect on other organisms, it is considered more environmentally friendly than synthetic pesticides. The toxin from "Bacillus thuringiensis" (Bt toxin) has been incorporated directly into plants through the use of genetic engineering.

Other biological insecticides include products based on:
* entomopathogenic fungi ("e.g. Metarhizium anisopliae"),
* entomopathogenic nematodes ("e.g. Steinernema feltiae") and
* entomopathogenic viruses ("e.g". "Cydia pomonella" granulovirus).

"The Manual of Biocontrol Agents" [Copping L.G. (ed.) (2004). "The Manual of Biocontrol Agents" (formerly the "Biopesticide Manual") 3rd Edition. British Crop Production Council (BCPC), Farnham, Surrey UK.] gives a review of the available biological insecticide (and other biology-based control) products. In order to implement these environmentally-friendly pest control agents, it is often especially important to pay attention to their formulation [Burges, H.D. (ed.) 1998 "Formulation of Microbial Biopesticides, beneficial microorganisms, nematodes and seed treatments" Publ. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 412 pp.] and application. [Lacey & H. Kaya (eds.) (2000) "Field Manual of Techniques for the Evaluation of Entomopathogens" Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, NL, 911 pp.]

ee also

*Chemical insecticides
*Biological control
*Integrated pest management


* [] US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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