Biological control of desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria Forskål)
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Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria Forskål) is one of the most serious agricultural pests in the world due to its voracity, speed of reproduction, and range of flight. We discuss the current state of knowledge on its biological control using microorganisms and botanical extracts. Metarhizium flavoviride was among the first fungus to be recognized as a bio-control agent against desert locust in the laboratory and field conditions. Nevertheless, its oil formulation adversely affected non-target organisms, hence led to further research on other microorganisms. Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum (syn. Metarhizium acridum) is an environmentally safer bio-pesticide that has no measurable impact on non-target organisms. However, there are various shortcomings associated with its use in desert locust control as highlighted in this review. Bacterial pathogens studied were from species of Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Serratia. Botanical extracts of 27 plant species were tested against the locust but showed varied results. Azadirachta indica and Melia volkensii were the most studied plant species, both belonging to family Meliaceae, which is known to have biologically active limonoids. Out of the 20 plant families identified, Apiaceae was the most represented with a frequency of 21%. However, only crude botanical extracts were used and therefore, the active ingredients against desert locust were not identified. Through a comprehensive research, an integrated pest management strategy that incorporates these bio-controls would be a realistic option to control desert locust infestations.
Githae, Eunice. (2021). Biological control of desert locust ( Schistocerca gregaria Forskål). CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources. 16. 10.1079/PAVSNNR202116013.