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close this bookControlling Insect Pests of Stored Products Using Insect Growth Regulators and Insecticides of Microbial Origin (NRI, 1994, 58 p.)
close this folderSection 2: Insect growth regulators: general account
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentChitin inhibitors
View the documentJuvenile hormone and juvenile hormone analogues
View the documentAnti-juvenile hormones
View the documentInsecticide development and registration
View the documentReview of insect growth regulators
View the documentEffect of insect growth regulators on non-target organisms


Insect growth regulators (IGRs) are compounds which interfere with insect metabolism in a manner which affects growth. During their development from egg to adult, insects go through larval or nymphal stages and gain biomass by feeding. Insects have an exoskeleton which cannot expand sufficiently to allow for growth. During pre-adult life, the exoskeleton is therefore renewed a number of times by the process of moulting or ecdysis. The formation of new cuticle at each moult and the shedding of the old exoskeleton, which are critical periods in the development of an insect, are under the control of a number of hormones. IGRs act in several ways. They may inhibit the formation of the chitin required to make a new cuticle at each moult, or they may replace or disrupt the production of the juvenile hormone (JH) which controls the moulting process. Short reviews of the effects of IGRs on storage insects have been published by various authors including Bengston (1987) and Mian et al.(1990).