Pest and Vector Control by H. F. van Emden and M. W. Service

Bibliographic Information:
Title: Pest and Vector Control
Editor: H. F. van Emden
Emeritus Professor of Horticulture
School of Plant Sciences
The University of Reading
M. W. Service
Emeritus Professor of Medical Entomology
Vector Research Group
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Edition: 1st
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Length: 363 pages
Size: 5.11 MB
Language: English

For nearly 30 years, generations of students of crop protection have used a
slim volume, written by one of us (HvE), and first published in the Studies
in Biology Series entitled Pest Control and its Ecology (1974) and later revised
with the title simplified to Pest Control (1989).
When the time came for a 3rd edition, the publisher (in the form of Ward
Cooper of Cambridge University Press) asked that the book be enlarged and
expanded to include areas of applied entomology not included previously,
particularly the control of insects of medical and veterinary importance.
Fortunately we had been undergraduates together in the Department of
Zoology and Applied Entomology at Imperial College, graduating in 1955
and, although agricultural and medical entomology led our respective careers
in different directions immediately thereafter, we have remained in contact
and firm friends ever since. The co-authorship of the new enlarged edition
was therefore never in doubt!
Like Pest Control (1989), this book is also limited to the control of arthropods;
we felt that amplifying the title would make the latter cumbersome if
more descriptive.
We think the result is a book unique in the width of its coverage of the
control of problem insects. We have not only covered insects of agricultural,
stored product, medical and veterinary importance, but we have included
the full range of control methods, including some which will be unfamiliar
to most readers. These follow a general introduction on how insects interact
with man and a ‘rough guide’ to the essentials of animal population dynamics
as necessary to understand how insect problems arise. In then going through
the different control methods, we give our opinion on their advantages and
limitations as well as their relative importance and where they are going in the
future. Even those still on the research bench, and those we suspect may not
be going anywhere, are included. This is because we wish to explore the rich
variety of man’s ingenuity in his battle against insects and make it clear that
contributions have come from unexpected quarters, e.g. the physics of spectral
absorption of different glasshouse cladding materials and the design of
machines for paint-spraying metal grids. Another rather unusual feature of
our book is that we not only include the components and principles of pest
management but, in our final chapter, also explain how the different components
may be combined and integrated into pest management programmes.
Now anyone in either the agricultural or medical entomology field will
know that ‘never (or only very rarely) the twain shall meet’. Conferences or
day-meetings on the two entomological disciplines attract totally different
audiences, who hardly read each other’s textbooks or scientific papers.We are
ourselves examples of this;we believewe have never attended the same meeting
or conference. Even the indispensable applied entomology abstracting journal,
the Review of Applied Entomology, was split into two distinct annual volumes
(Agricultural and Medical and Veterinary) as long ago as 1913.
Combining the two areas of entomology in a single book has previously
rarely been attempted, and we quickly discovered a major difference as to
how pest control is subdivided in our two disciplines. In agriculture there are
many crops, with several major pests on each; control is usually practised on the
clearly defined area of the crop. In medical/veterinary entomology, by contrast,
the types of problems are fewer, but nevertheless some of the problems involve
really serious diseases transmitted by arthropods to very large populations of
humans or livestock. Control of the vectors often is not on the attacked target
(a human or animal) but carried out in the wider environment of that target,
an environment which is usually heterogeneous and may be on a very large
(e.g. regional or countrywide) scale.
The result of these contrasts is that, whereas a text on pest control in
agricultural entomology is divided by control approach (chemical, biological,
cultural etc.), control in medical/veterinary entomology is usually focused
on the several different methods needed for control of a particular disease
(e.g. control of malaria, sleeping sickness), and then how much each control
method contributes.
We took the decision to follow the agricultural model and integrate into
this approach the relevant examples from the medical/veterinary field. Nevertheless,
some topics proved impossible to treat in this way. So there are, for
example, separate sections in Chapter 13 for the two disciplines on thresholds
and insect monitoring and forecasting. The reader will quickly find other such
However, one advantage of trying to integrate our material is that the
links of agriculture with human and veterinary diseases are easy to recognize,
and we have stressed these links wherever possible. For example, increased
rice cultivation to feed an increasing population inevitably creates places for
mosquitoes to breed, and intensive and extensive spraying of cotton with
insecticide can sometimes result in insecticide resistance in malaria vectors.
We have had some difficulty in knowing how we should deal with the various
active ingredients of insecticides. These chemicals are currently under
intense scrutiny in relation to safety to human health and the environment;
many have been banned or withdrawn by the manufacturer. Unfortunately,
the position changes almost daily and differs between countries.
Anti-cholinesterase compounds (particularly the organophosphates) are primary
targets for this scrutiny, yet of all the chemical groupings they are the best
example of the variety of routes to the target. We have therefore mentioned
the compounds which best illustrate the properties of insecticides and the
variations found between active ingredients. We hope we have not suggested
that any compound universally banned is still available, while the corollary is
that mention of a chemical in this book cannot be taken to mean that it is
available and recommended for use for all situations, and in whatever country
the reader is located.
Repetitions, and exactly where subject matter is treated and in which chapter,
are always problematic with a book of this kind. For example, genetically
engineered crops expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis toxin are an example of
genetic manipulation (Chapter 9) which also represents a delivery system for an
insecticide (Chapter 4) which is derived from an insect pathogen (Chapter 8)
and gives the crop plant resistance to insect attack (Chapter 11) with implications
for pest management (Chapter 13)! Where necessary we have accepted
some repetition, but have indicated where a more extensive treatment of
the topic can be found in the book. In other places, we have attempted to
explain why a topic is not discussed there, again pointing out the relevant
Chapter 12 needs some comment. As well as bringing together a miscellany
of insect control methods for which there was no obvious home elsewhere,
we have a section on ‘Other topics’. These are not methods of control, but
are relevant to such methods. There are legal requirements to control some
insects or prevent their spread – topics we do regard as insect control – and
also legislation on, for example, which insecticides may be used and how they
may be used – this we do not regard as insect control, but it is clearly highly
relevant. Similarly, controlling mosquitoes is clearly insect control, yet it is
only a part of the management of malaria and so we felt it not inappropriate
to mention briefly the use of drugs, a very important component of malaria,
but not of mosquito, control. Involving the local community in what control is
required and how best to implement it (community participation) is a further
‘Other topic’.
The earlier editions of this book referred to at the start of this Preface gave
guidance to general reading. In this volume, additional literature sources have
been mentioned in the text, sometimes because we have taken a table, figure
or quotation from that source. For the sake of simplicity, we have combined
the literature cited in the text into one bibliography which also contains our
suggested general reading, usually books or reviews, not mentioned in the
various chapters.
We have enjoyed working together on the book, and have benefited greatly
from learning much more about each other’s discipline.We have relied greatly
on our own experience during our careers and information acquired during
discussions with colleagues and at conferences. Our aim has been to keep the
book readable, hoping our enthusiasm for the subject permeates its pages.We
have therefore not held back from including stories we enjoy or find bizarre,
even if these make the balance of detail given to different topics somewhat

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