This book forming the 11th part of the RSC Green Chemistry Series discusses the present approaches for insect pest control
as green alternatives to the classical and generally more toxic agrochemicals.
The first chapter contains the fundamentals of entomology, especially of the insects (mosquitoes, biting midges, flies, fleas
and lice) causing diseases (malaria, typhus, lymphatic filariasis, dengue, hemorrhagic fevers and certain encephalitis) by microbial
pathogens. The discussion of the mode of action of insecticides allows for the design of up-to-date and more efficient compounds.
The second chapter gives a historical account of the classical insecticides that are mostly non-green and should be replaced.
The three major groups, organochlorine, organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides are reviewed critically in the light of the
recommendations and restrictions of the European Union Committees and the World Health Organization.
The next two chapters are devoted to the discussion of the more developed insecticides, such as pyrethroids and neonicotinoids
that are much greener than the above shown classical agents due to their low mammalian toxicity. The advantages of
these up-to-date insecticides place them as promising pesticides of the future for domestic use or in the agriculture.
Up-to-date information is released on the mode of action of insecticides, and the toxicity and environmental impacts are also
discussed for all kinds of insecticides included in this book.
Chapters 5 and 6 describe the recent developments at Dow Agro-Chemicals. The first group embraces spinosyns, macrocyclic
lactones that were discovered ca. 25 years ago. The agents belonging to this group are green, on the one hand, in terms of the
production process (fermentation and semi-synthesis), and on the other hand, in terms of environmental behaviour. The other
group includes bisacylhydrazines belonging to the non-steroidal family of insect growth regulators that are again up-to-date
The use of botanical extracts as insecticides is discussed in the next chapter. Their market is rather limited (~1%), but their
importance is significant.
Chapter 8 gives an overview on the production of insecticides from microbial sources (viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.), and the
utilization of genetically-modified organisms is also discussed.
Finally, the principles of the Integrated Pest Management programmes are summarized, according to which the use of synthetic
pesticides must be reduced, while the pest populations should be maintained at an acceptable level. An important issue is
the intensification of crops meaning the appropriate selection of plant species utilizing bioengineered crops.
The recent advances in insecticide control are well summarized and are of interest for agrochemists, biochemists, chemists,
chemical engineers, biologists and toxicologists. The book may also be useful in academia to utilize its up-to-date knowledge in
the training of students.