Insects have been major pests of humankind at least since the beginning of recorded history. To this day insects continue to cause problems in domestic, agricultural, and health situations. It is no wonder that people have continually sought new solutions to controlling insect pests. Even when new control methods are discovered and established, insects evolve into resistant species so that the method is only of real value for a few brief years. Modern science and technology are now enabling scientists to tear away the fabric that has so long masked physiological and biochemical events critical to insects. Armed with this new knowledge, researchers should be able to develop novel control strategies that focus on key physiological, biological, and biochemical events such that they can be altered, influenced, disrupted, and/or inhibited. Three promising areas that may lead or are currently leading to new insect control methods are the cuticle, prostaglandins, and steroids. We discuss each of these areas in regard to their biological significance, current research, metabolic inhibitors and their modes of action.

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Copyright © 1990 Marcel Dekker, Inc. This chapter first appeared in Safer Insecticides: Development and Use.

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