Controlling invertebrate pests in Agriculture

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Rob Richardson

RG and FJ Richardson, Meredith, Victoria 3333 Australia.

Cite this article as:

Richardson, R.G. (2012). Controlling invertebrate pests in agriculture [Book Review]. Plant Protection Quarterly 27(1), 43.

Controlling invertebrate pests in Agriculture

by Jessica Page and Paul Horne

Published by CSIRO Publishing 2012, paperback, black and white, 128 pages,
price $49.95 ISBN 9780643103351

Insect pests are a hazard that all farmers face. They are difficult to see in the early stages and all too obvious later when causing significant damage to a crop. The common response to this has been spraying with insecticides, often applied as insurance sprays whether the pest is present or not. This can result in the development of resistance to the chemical by the insects, changes in the pest species present and the loss of older pesticides from the market.

This book discusses the principles of pest management from a historical perspective as well as from current and predicted future directions. Chapters cover 1. Agricultural ecosystems. 2. Pesticides. 3. Pest species. 4. Beneficial species (biological control agents). 5. Cultural controls. 6. Integrating control measures to maximize degree of control. 7. Changes in scientific assessment. 8. Examples of changing pest management: specific crops.

This book discusses in an easy to read style what is involved in the control of pests, what methods are available and how these methods can be integrated, if possible. It explains how pests become problems and how to avoid them becoming problems in the first place. While it is not a manual for pest management practices, the issues it discusses can be applied in any crop in any location. The options of pest control available for farmers are explored, in particular whether to use a pesticide or not, and if so, what pesticide to use.

Jessica Page has worked on range of crops from glasshouse flowers to wheat, barley and canola and has written the book Integrated pest management for crops and pastures published by Landlinks Press. Paul Horne, an entomologist, has been involved in the development and implementation of IPM procedures in a wide range of crops and has conducted research on use of biological control agents, cultural methods and selective pesticides. He is currently an honorary research fellow at LaTrobe University.

This book is an excellent resource for farmers and land managers, researchers, advisors and chemical resellers, or anyone interested or involved in invertebrate pest control. While it will not provide a detailed methodology for integrated pest management it will provide a path forward for determining how integrated pest management can best be applied in your situation to achieve effective insect control.


First published online: March 1, 2012