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Integrating natural enemies and semiochemicals in cultural control for an effective IPM


Since their discovery, many semiochemicals (behavior modifying chemicals) have been identified and synthetized, and a number of techniques have been developed to use them in integrated pest management (IPM) programs against insect pests. In particular, the uses of semiochemicals in IPM to monitor insect pest populations and to interfere with their behavior preventing agricultural damage are widely adopted by the growers. In the same time, evidences that semiochemicals can also modify the behavior of insect natural enemies inspired researchers to explore the possibility to use semiochemicals to conserve and/or enhance the efficacy of natural enemies in cropping systems. However the use of semiochemicals integrated with natural enemies in IPM is still limited despite the fact that scientists have made important advances in recent years to elucidate semiochemical-natural enemies interactions in multitrophic contexts. Here we provide an overview of the IPM strategies integrating semiochemicals and natural enemies; furthermore, the factors that could be considered for more widely adoption of these strategies are discussed.