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Abstract

Semiochemicals are defined as informative molecules mainly used in plant-insect or insect-insect interactions as alternative or complementary components to insecticide approaches in different integrated pest management strategies. They are used to manipulate insect behaviour by affecting the survival and/or reproduction of insect pests for controlling their infestations on crops. The present review provides a basic summary of the utilization of semiochemicals for controlling insect pests. Two main topics were explored in this study. The first topic focuses on a description of semiochemicals and their types (pheromones and allelochemicals). Pheromones represent an intraspecific communication amidst members of the same species. Allelochemicals, produced by individuals of one species, modify the behavior of individuals of a different species (i.e. an interspecific effect). Allelochemicals include different informative molecules such as: allomones, kairomones, synomones, antimones and apneumones. The second topic focuses on the application of semiochemicals in IPM programs. Different semiochemicals are included in integrated pest management programs in various ways such as monitoring, mass trapping, attract-and-kill, push-pull, and disruption strategies. Pheromones are promising and can be used singly or in integration with other control strategies for monitoring and controlling insect pests in agricultural systems. For example, sex pheromones have been applied in mass trapping, disruption and attract-and-kill tactics in IPM programs.
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