Recent efforts to reduce the impact of broad-spectrum chemical pesticides have brought biological insecticides back into vogue.
An example is the development and increase in use of Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterial disease of Lepidoptera, Coleoptera and Diptera. Because it has little effect on other organisms, it is considered more environmentally friendly than synthetic pesticides. The toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt toxin) has been incorporated directly into plants through the use of genetic engineering.
Other biological insecticides include products based on:
- entomopathogenic fungi (e.g. Metarhizium anisopliae),
- entomopathogenic nematodes (e.g. Steinernema feltiae) and
- entomopathogenic viruses (e.g. Cydia pomonella granulovirus).
Copping (2004) has reviewed the available biological insecticide (and other biocontrol) products. In order to implement these environmentally-friendly pest control agents, it is often especially important to pay attention to their formulation (Burges, 1998) and application (Lacey & Kaya, 2000).
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- Burges, H.D. (ed.) 1998 Formulation of Microbial Biopesticides, beneficial microorganisms, nematodes and seed treatments Publ. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 412 pp.
- Copping L.G. (ed.) (2004). The Manual of Biocontrol Agents (formerly the Biopesticide Manual) 3rd Edition. British Crop Production Council (BCPC), Farnham, Surrey UK.
- Lacey & H. Kaya (eds.) (2000) Field Manual of Techniques for the Evaluation of Entomopathogens Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, NL, 911 pp.
-  US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).