Life History And Habits

Once the identity and pest status of a species have been well established, it becomes essential to extend the informational base on the life history and habits of the species to the conditions under which the crop is grown. Economically important life history traits include information on developmental threshold temperatures and temperature-dependent developmental rates. These data are used in modeling the phenology of the pest. Other essential studies include the orientation, feeding, host selection, and sexual behavior of the species. Many of these studies provide the foundation for strategic planning in IPM and for the development of target-specific control tactics. For example, the study of sexual behavior involves the definition of the role of pheromones in mating and the identification of those pheromones. These, in turn, may be used for monitoring pest incidence and abundance or in mating disruption, both valuable components of IPM systems for many crops. The study of host selection behavior often leads to the identification of kairomones, equally important in IPM development.

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