U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Annu. Rev. Entomol. 2006. 51:359–85.


With world trade in agricultural commodities increasing, the introduction of exotic insects into new areas where they become pests will increase. The development and application of quarantine treatments or other mitigation approaches to prevent pest introduction in traded commodities raise many research and regulatory issues. The probit 9 standard for quarantine treatment efficacy has given way to risk-based alternatives. Varietal testing may have merit for some treatments or commodities but not for others. Development of generic treatments to control broad groups of insects or insects in all commodities can expedite new trade in agricultural products. Area-wide pest management programs lower pest levels before harvest and improve the quarantine security provided by any post-harvest treatments. Systems approaches capitalize on cumulative pest mortality from multiple control components to achieve quarantine security in an exported commodity. Certain quarantine treatment technologies such as irradiation are not universally accepted, which is slowing their adoption. Standardized phytosanitary measures and research protocols are needed to improve the flow of information when countries propose to trade in a regulated commodity.