The Integration of Natural Enemies into Pest Management Strategies and Technologies

  • Natural enemies (insects that consume or parasitize pest insects) provide important pest control services in most crops.
  • There are several barriers that limit one’s ability to make use of ‘natural enemy information’ to improve economic decision making however, including difficulties associated with the identification of natural enemies and quantification of their impact on pest populations.
  • There are now a number of technologies being developed that will enable growers and agronomists to overcome these barriers by providing easy to use smartphone applications that can be used in the field while scouting.
    • Pest and natural enemy identification apps help one identify the insects they observe while scouting.
    • Decision making apps use counts of both pests and natural enemies to improve pest management decision making
  • The use of these apps will be discussed, as will the general benefits of considering natural enemies while making pest management decisions.