79271 - Biologic And Integrated Control Of Pest Insects

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Giovanni Burgio

  • Credits 6

  • SSD AGR/11

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies (cod. 9235)

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is able to: - interpret the dynamics that occur between pestand beneficial insects, and to set up integrated and biological protocols against insects - know the methods and techniques for enhancing the natural biocontrol agents - have a complete picture of sustainable strategies for plant protection - identify the main beneficial arthropods - apply the most recent acquisitions, including the management of the agricultural landscape, in the frame of the conservation of biodiversity.

Course contents

The student who accesses this teaching has a good preparation in general and applied entomology, and he knows the basic principles of the plant protection from pests. These prerequisites are provided by the Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences and by "Difesa sostenibile delle piante".

To acquire the ability to plan the techniques for insect control and management is a priority in the training of a graduate in agricultural disciplines, because integrated pest management will become a compulsory discipline from 2014 in the European community. Moreover, the knowledge of the principles of insect management in organic farming for organic farming is very important for the protection of the environment, the safeguarding of diversity and the protection of human health.

  • Introduction - History of biological control (0.5 FCU): the precursors Aldrovandi and Leeuwenhoek, Darwin and the interpretation of the insect parasitism, the origin of the biological control, the importation of the coccinellid Rodolia cardinalis into California. Italian school (Rondani, Berlese, Silvestri, Grandi).
  • Sustainable control of pests (3 CFU): IPM and Organic schemes of the main crops in Emilia-Romagna region. View of the prevention and control methods. Sampling and monitoring plans. Phenological model. Semiochemicals, pheromones (monitoring and control techniques, mass-trapping and mating disruption). Biological control against pests (importation, augmentation, conservation, techniques based on the new associations), microbial control (virus, Bacillus thuringiensis, fungi, nematodes), agronomic methods, mandatory measures. Insecticide classification by Mode of Action (sensu IRAC), non-target effects of insecticides. resistance management, selectivity. Use of baits for dipteran control.
  • The habitat and landscape management for pest prevention (1 CFU): the role of agroecology in plant protection, bottom-up and top-down control of insects, agronomic techniques for biodiversity conservation, ecological compensation areas and their role for conservation of beneficial insects and for prevention of pest outbreaks. Use of GIS in the wide area pest management.
  • Biological and integrated control in protected crops (1.5 CFU):characteristics of the protected crops, the pest-beneficial dynamics in protected crops, plant protection plans in protected crops, the importance of biological control in protected crops, release of natural enemies, the biofactories.


For the preparation of the course, the teacher will provide the PowerPoint lessons used during the teaching.

For further information, the following books are recommended:

Radcliffe, Hutchison, Cancelado, 2008. Integrated Pest Management Concepts, Tactics, Strategies and Case Studies. Cambridge University Press

Butturini A., Galassi (a cura di) 2014 Difesa fitosanitaria in produzione integrata. Edagricole.

Benuzzi M., Vacente V., 2004 Difesa fitosanitaria in agricoltura biologica. Edagricole.

Vacante V., Benuzzi M., 2007 Difesa delle colture in serra. Edagricole.Integrated Pest Management

Teaching methods

The course includes theoretical lectures, practical lectures in the classroom and laboratory, as well as visits to institutions involved in sustainable plant protection.

  • Lectures (36 hours) treat the program in a theoretical way.
  • The practical activities (24 hours) treat aspects such as: i) the identification of the main beneficial arthropods by means of photographic material, audio-visual media and entomological boxes; ii) diagnosis of pest damages with photographic material; iii) critical analysis of plant protection plans, with particular reference to the Emilia Romagna region; iv) a visit to a biofactory, leader in the mass rearing of beneficial arthropods.

Assessment methods

The course is part of the Integrated Course "Avversità delle piante" together with the teaching "Patologia vegetale avanzata". Therefore, the evaluation of the Course takes into account jointly the level of knowledge and skills acquired by the student in relation to the contents of all the teachings.

The learning assessment of the course is based on a final examination, which tests the acquisition of knowledge and skills expected by two phases:

1) the presentation of a report on a topic chosen by the candidate, and

2) three questions within the program of the course.

Through the report (phase 1), are avaluated: the ability of the student to interpretate and explain a basic topic of the course; the critical skill in dealing with issues of plant protection and applied entomology; and the ability to synthesize the topics of the course. Through the oral examination (phase 2), it is ascertained the general preparation on the course.

Teaching tools

PC, Powerpoint projector.

Office hours

See the website of Giovanni Burgio