Topic 1: Forest Pest Control

Background Information

Knowledge of topics such as entomology, plant pathology, forest entomology, ecology, etc. are required in order to successfully manage and control forest pests. Forest entomology and pathology are the foundation of forest pest control which is based on ecological theory, ecological health principles, advanced biological pest management tools and control technologies and strategies, scientific pest control, and maintenance of ecosystem health.

A major theme in the World Environment and Development Conference in 1992 is to keep the health and integrity of global ecosystem. A healthy forest ecosystem is always stable and sustainable and can maintain its organized structure and autonomies. It also maintains resilience which includes the resistance to pests and recovery ability after being damaged and disturbed.

In the long history of humanity’s attempts at pest management, management theory by the “struggle” has gradually transformed into “scientific management”. Management strategy has gradually transformed from “simple pest control” to “integrated control” to “comprehensive management”. Recently, Liang and Zhang (2005) also put forward a new strategy of forest pest control, named “ecological control of forest pest (ECFP)”. The ECFP is aimed at maintaining the whole function of forest ecosystem. ECFP mainly includes biological control, cultivation of resistant species, site preparation, as well as dynamic monitoring of pests. The combination of these practices can help restrict the growth and development of pests and reach the goal of ecosystem equilibrium. The usage of chemical fertilizer and insecticides should be reduced or replaced by other control measures. There are also some stages in the process including analyzing, integrating, optimizing, designing and implementing the above mentioned practices, etc. The final goal is to make full use of all kinds of beneficial functions of various bio-resources in the system.

Video Lectures

View the following video lectures:

3.1.1 Forest pest control-Ⅰ

3.1.2 Forest pest control-Ⅱ

3.1.3 Forest pest control-Ⅲ

3.1.4 Integrated pest management of underground pests

3.1.5 Integrated pest management of defoliators

3.1.6 Integrated pest management of insect borers

3.1.7 Integrated pest management of important harmful plants & disease

Additional Resources

  1. Forest integrated pest management. (2013). Retrieved January 22, 2015, from
    This article gives the definition of forest integrated pest management.
  1. Pest control. (2015). Retrieved January 22, 2015, from
    This article explains the history, causes and types of pest Control.
  1. Ji, L., Wang, Z., Wang, X., & An, L. (2011). Forest insect pest management and forest management in China: An overview. Environmental Management, 48, 1107-1121. Retrieved from
    This article summarizes the current status of forest resources and their pests in China. It addressed the theories, policies, practices and major national actions on forestry and forest insect pest management, including the Engineering Pest Management of China, the National Key Forestry Programs, the Classified Forest Management system, and the Collective Forest Tenure Reform. It analyzes and discusses three representative plantations—eucalyptus, poplar and masson pine plantations—with respect to their insect diversity, pest problems and pest management measures.
  1. Gullan, P. J., & Cranston, P. S. (2014).The insects: An outline of entomology, 5th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-1-118-84615-5
    This book explains the basic concepts and glossary of entomology used in Topic 1.
  1. Wainhouse, D. (2004). Ecological methods in forest pest management. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN-13: 9780198505648
    This book is about the management of forest pests. It focuses predominantly on insect pests, but many examples relate to fungal pathogens, some of which are vectored by forest insects. The central theme is the development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), the main impetus for which comes from the need to use environmentally sensitive methods of control appropriate to both semi-natural and plantation forests. These forests are often managed for timber production, for recreation and to enhance biodiversity. An introductory chapter describes how forests have been transformed by exploitation and management and how altering the composition and distribution of forests can contribute to pest problems. Subsequent chapters focus on the ‘techniques’ of management and control that contribute to IPM (i.e., plant health, risk-rating, silviculture, tree resistance, biological control, microbial control, semiochemicals). By focusing on these important elements of management, the aim is to provide a critical analysis of the theory and practice of each one in relation to key aspects of both pest and forest ecology. The final chapter brings together elements of the previous chapters, discussing them in the context of the economic and environmental impact of pests, the economics of control, and the role of decision support systems. Detailed case studies are provided and future developments in IPM discussed in relation to sustainability, conservation and the potential impact of climate change.
  1. LIANG J., ZHANG X. Y. (2005). Ecological control of forest pest: a new strategy for forest pest control. Journal of Forestry Research, 16 (4): 339–342.
    In comparison with integrated pest management and chemical control, this paper puts forward a new strategy of forest pest control, named ecological control of forest pest (ECFP). The paper reviewes the development history, the concept, principles, ,methods, and the application of ECFP.

Self-test for Topic 1

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are three scales of monitor and early warning to control forest pest?
  2. What methods can be used to control forest pests?
  3. What is the definition of IPM?
  4. What are the main categories of leaf-feeder pests? List their main harm characteristic?
  5. What is the difference between Initial pests and secondary pests?
  6. What are the main groups for insect borers?
  7. What is the symptom of trees affected by pine wilt disease (causal agent: pine wood nematode)?

After formulating your answers, you may post them online at the Knowledge Café for this course as a way to share your ideas and glean knowledge from other students’ responses.