Integrated Pest Management

Edward B. Radcliffe, William D. Hutchison, Rafael E. Cancelado (Eds)
Cambridge University Press
2009; 529 pages  ISBN-13:9780521699310
$63.00 (paper)


This comprehensive IPM book, with its emphasis on insect pest management, is a good choice for those professors looking for a textbook for an undergraduate or first graduate-level course on IPM. It consists of 40 chapters written by a variety of experts. Almost all chapters are well-written in a style that will engage the students and motivate them to read more. The publisher and editors have produced a generally well-designed book that is comfortable to read.

 The editors chose topics that all students could benefit from learning. In other words, the emphasis is on concepts, techniques, and tactics that we all should understand, rather than a set of case studies emphasizing system details (although nine chapters do focus on particular pest systems). For instance, one chapter focuses on a field crop (cotton). Because there is so much information about field-crop IPM on the Internet, including the editors’ IPMWORLD Web site, adding more chapters concerning field crops would be redundant. All the chapters in the book include a long list of references cited.The editors should be credited with including many topics that are not biological. More than 25% of the chapters have little to do with biology. Governmental regulation, economics, decision making, sociology, and farm operations are some of the subjects that are addressed in this book, as they should be in any proper summary of IPM in the real world. One of the goals of the editors was to help students understand why IPM is not implemented more than it has been. I was disappointed that several chapters emphasizing sampling and decision making failed to mention the cost of sampling as an important factor to consider in IPM. The book is not perfect. The index, for instance, should be expanded and improved. Terms such as sanitation and repellant cannot be found in the index. Furthermore, there are several cases in which a term in the index does not refer to all the pages on which the term is used. Better cross-referencing of topics covered in multiple chapters is needed. I believe that this is particularly important for students.

The book is published without color, which I think is fine; it certainly keeps the cost down. However, I urge the editors to include more line drawings and typical statistical plots in the next edition. Some chapters had no figures. I believe that the editors could easily draw up a list of good figures for the majority of chapters that have one or no figures. For example, Chapter 28 describes aphids as vectors of plant disease, but no life cycle diagrams or images of disease transmission are included in the text. Some chapters are too short for the subjects that they address and some of these would be improved by including one or two case studies to clarify and support the “take-home” messages of the chapters.

This is a very good book that should be used in many IPM courses. Its strengths are in the diversity of topics that represents the breadth of IPM. I am pleased that several chapters directly discuss economics and two others describe the value of ecosystem or landscape design for IPM. Too often we focus on the control options that require us to modify seasonal and weekly inputs, rather than the design options that permit us to adjust the structure of the landscape to make IPM more effective. Thus, I feel that this book is a great foundation for teaching modern IPM. 

David Onstad
Department of Crop Sciences
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL
American Entomologist
Vol. 56, No.3, Summer 2010