Killing two bugs with one stone: a perspective for targeting multiple pest species by incorporating reproductive interference into sterile insect technique

Honma, AK, N.; Noriyuki, S.,  Pest Management Science,  75:571-577. 2019.

The sterile insect technique is an environmentally friendly method to control and even eradicate agricultural and veterinary insect pests without using chemical pesticides in excess. However, the continuous production and release of sterile insects is economically costly and eradication programs using sterile insects have not always been successful owing to the incomplete mating ability of the sterile insects. Here we focus on the theory and empirical findings of interspecific negative mating interaction, known as reproductive interference, to develop a more cost-effective and value-added pest management program. We suggest that sterile insects can be used for simultaneous control of both wild-type conspecifics and closely related pest species by taking advantage of the fact that, when species recognition abilities are incomplete, courtship and mating are often misdirected toward heterospecies. This new approach might help mitigate economic damage and human health crises caused by pest insects. (c) 2018 Society of Chemical Industry