Prickly pear cacti pests and their control in Mexico
Sommaire de l'article
Opuntia spp., known by Mexicans as nopal, represents historically one of the most important biotic elements of Mexico. This natural resource has been and is being used for multiple purposes. Some of the current uses include: food for humans as both vegetable and fruit, forage for animals, source for alcoholic beverages, sweetener, live fences, industrial products such as cosmetics and dye, and as a medical source against diabetes and other diseases. Its cultural and natural values have been reflected in paintings, ancestral Indian codes, and old writings; thus its historic relevance is quite apparent. Furthermore, it is depicted both in the Mexican national seal and flag where it represents the very characteristic feature of Mexican culture and society. Opuntia spp. are distributed throughout the American continent and Mexico is considered a center of diversity as these species are well adapted to the and and semiarid conditions of Mexico. Here we summarize and discuss briefly the most important insect pest species and one snail species which currently are considered as serious pests of cultivated Opuntia spp, in Mexico, and, thus require control measures, The control of these pest species is mainly through chemical pesticides and currently at least a dozen types of insecticides are being applied.