APPLICATION ASPECTS OF INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
Three major objectives characterize the current trend in intensive agriculture: pest control, environmentally safe measures and consumer demand for, among other things, pesticide-free products. Therefore, the main goal in pest-management research is to improve pesticide application technology for its effective action and rapid dissipation from crop tissues. Air-assisted spraying technology that makes use of fine droplet size and low volumes is an effective way of depositing the spray on both the upper and under sides of leaves. Application of pesticides with aerosol generators (foggers) and other sprayers has shown practical and effective control of insects, mites and foliar pathogens in various field and tree crops. Moreover, effective control is achieved even when pesticide rates are significantly reduced. Soil disinfestation is the most effective tool for knocking out inoculum in soil, but it has to be accompanied by additional measures in the framework of integrated pest management. Research into exploiting soil solarization by combining it with reduced doses of permitted fumigants, or other tools, is expected to produce the most promising approaches. Furthermore, a sublethal dosage of fumigant in combination with solarization, or other pest-management methods, can provide a reasonable solution to many of today’s problems. Combining fumigation or solarization with biocontrol agents could also improve the control of target pests, maintain the microbial balance in soils and maintain suppressiveness against pathogen buildup in those soils. Improvement of application methods for soil disinfestation is another issue which warrants special attention.