Insect Control of the Future: Operational and Policy Aspects

Science  15 Nov 1974:
Vol. 186, Issue 4164, pp. 596-607
DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4164.596


uman and insect population control have several features in common, all of them indicating that the lag times in converting laboratory discoveries into practical agents are increasing greatly and that ROI calculations are becoming more and more significant in decisions related to the development of new agents. ROI calculations are particularly important in the field of insect control because, by being more specific, the agents of the future are likely to cover smaller markets. Several recommendations for stimulating the development of new methods of insect control are proposed which are addressed primarily to policy-makers. If they are not implemented, then our suggestions should at least stimulate others to make alternative proposals. If neither event occurs, then it is unlikely that there will be any fundamentally new approaches to practical insect control in this decade; a similar prediction (6) that was made 4 years ago in the field of human birth control is rapidly proving to be correct.