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Larry P. Pedigo
Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
2002, 742 pp., Hardback
Entomology and Pest Management, 4th ed., is written as a text for undergraduate or beginning graduate level courses in insect pest management. It differs from the previous edition primarily by the addition of references from the World Wide Web and updated coverage of chemical tactics resulting from the impact of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. The first five of 17 chapters present an accurate and fairly comprehensive review of general entomology, thus making the text an excellent single-source selection for programs in which student options are limited to one or two entomology courses. The last of these introductory chapters, "Insect Ecology," leads readily into a coverage of the tactics and strategies used in integrated pest management (IPM), stemming from a conceptual understanding of IPM as a form of applied ecology. Separate chapters are dedicated to surveillance and sampling, economic thresholds and their applications, and theoretical concepts of pest management. Each of the remaining chapters deal specifically with the cultural, biological, chemical, and interference tactics currently integrated in the concept, and the concluding chapters overview the practice of pest management, including examples of programs, resistance management, and area-wide approaches. Recent developments in biotechnology are discussed, appropriately, with discussion of benefits and risks. The most useful of four updated appendices are the listing of insecticides by common and registered names and a web site bibliography.
Throughout the text are about 60 insect diagnostic boxes for as many major economic insect pest species in the United States, each presenting applicable summaries of distribution, abundance, and life histories. Figures, tables, and illustrations are abundant and helpful supplements to the written text. Key words are emboldened and reiterated in an up-to-date glossary at the end of the book.
The book is easy to read, and is presented in a well organized format, with subtopics treated separately and in outlined sequence in each chapter. This makes retrieval of specific subject information rapid and almost effortless. Pedigo’s style of writing renders the material easy to comprehend by those with little background in the subject. Both theory and practice are emphasized contextually. The combination of style and format creates a text more useful to upper-level undergraduate students or beginning graduate students than other texts with which I am familiar. The approach is targeted for a student audience, and leads to a sound foundation and understanding of the whys and hows of pest management. It would be at the forefront of books I would recommend for a course in applied entomology.
The author clearly intends to reach such an audience, and therefore does not fall short of his goal. My only misgivings are in finding a text to meet more comprehensive course needs in coverage of integrated pest management in general. To this end, a combination of resources is still required and lacking in the text, but adequately referenced in the new edition. Having taught pest management for several decades, I would prefer to approach naive students with a stronger introduction to the pesticide problem, not only the ecological backlash so excellently presented in Pedigo’s 16th chapter, but with a consideration of health issues also, though without the bias brought about in such books as Benbrook’s Pest Management at the Crossroads. To this end, the concept of IPM as an approach that reduces reliance on pesticides is lacking in intensity. Nonetheless, Chapter 8 of "Entomology and Pest Management" does discuss pest management as a concept that arose out of the insecticide era, and briefly discusses the systems concept for building a tactical approach. Pedigo gives a balanced history of the development of pesticide technology, punctuated, like the rest of the book, with several pertinent examples. The concepts of applied ecology are clear and well presented, but more attention will need to be given to more advanced classes in tying together the role of biodiversity and ecological stability than the coverage given here. The chapters on tactics and methods used in pest management, including surveillance and sampling methods, are particularly useful. Newer, urban applications are also brought into the IPM tent, as exemplified by the explanation of the Sentricon System for termite control.
Overall, Entomology and Pest Management 4th ed., is an excellent text that, after initial use, will remain on the shelves of students throughout their careers. As for recommendation, I intend to use it in one of my own graduate courses composed mostly of entomology students, principally because of the numerous examples given for the development of concepts and tactics. Using common pests and tactics generally known to most entomologists, the text presents an array of examples from medical-veterinary subjects, soil-inhabiting pests, crop pests, urban pests, ornamental pests, and beneficial insects, as well as a comprehensive look at survey tools and tactics. The book culminates in a chapter dedicated to pest management case histories, again using common examples familiar to most. Students whose learning is assisted by use of this text will have attained a firm foundation built on real examples of pest management theory and practice.
D. R. Alverson
Department of Entomology, Clemson University
Long Hall, Box 340365
Clemson, SC 29634-0365