Obviously, the moment has come in agriculture and forestry when we must decide to gradually abandon (where possible) non-selectively acting chemical insecticides, taking into consideration the overall decrease in the total biomass of insects, especially pollinators, and the increased number of diseases and human deaths directly or indirectly associated with chemical insecticides. Yet with the world facing the rapid growth of human populations, the annual reduction of cultivated areas, and substantial losses from insect pests, most experts believe that no serious alternative to chemical insecticides exists. However, there is definitely room to create more well-tailored chemical insecticides. And there is hope, in the form of effective DNA insecticides able to provide an adequate level of safety for non-target organisms. In this short communication describing experiments carried out on the larvae of Ceroplastes japonicus Green (feeding on Ilex aquifolium Linnaeus), we show for the first time the enormous potential for the use of DNA insecticides in the control of soft scale insects and how they could replace non-selective organophosphate insecticides.
This research was funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation within the framework of the Federal Target Program Research and Developments in Priority Directions of the Scientific and Technological Complex of Russia for 2014-2020 (unique project identifier RFMEFI61319X0096).
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
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