This chapter presents extensive and updated knowledge from scientific and technical reports on the management of agriculture pests using detergents and soaps (D + S), with emphasis on their utility in integrated pest management (IPM) schemes. It includes a review on their environmental, ecological, and toxicological impacts, and their possibilities to become important tools for pest control, especially for those D + S having minimum risk, considering both current and newer products. The present knowledge of their modes of action on arthropods is addressed, revealing the need to better identify the mechanisms to optimize their use against crop pests. Their disadvantages are also analyzed, mainly the lack of residual effect and the potential toxicity to plants. Some ways these problems have been overcome are presented. A comparison of the direct costs of the use of conventional pesticides versus D + S, achieving statistically similar levels of control, is discussed, and scenarios where detergents are competitive (representing lower costs) are presented. There is also a review of the type of compounds reported in the specific literature, which leads to highlight the opportunities to develop agriculture detergents and soaps suited to local agriculture needs. New findings on D + S as co-adjuvants for conventional and biological pesticides, and their potential utilization as safe postharvest treatments against pest, are also presented. Finally, the authorization for soaps and detergents is also discussed, highlighting the need for a joint effort (state agencies, producers, researchers, etc.), in order to increase the offer and the use of detergents and soaps, partially replacing conventional pesticides, to take advantage of their potential as sustainable pest management tools, particularly for IPM programs, but also for organic and conventional productive schemes.
Part of the book: Integrated Pest Management (IPM)