Publication Date

Fall 2023

Program Name

Portugal: Sustainability and Environmental Justice


Recent data on the current state of pesticide use in global agriculture suggests serious concerns over significant overuse and negative effects on both environmental and human health, and current trends only suggest continued increases in future global pesticide use. Without prompt, large-scale intervention, this global abuse of chemical pesticides spells significant threats of not only continued harm to global health and environmental quality, but also to the long term viability of agricultural lands and the growing threat of pesticide resistant insects and weeds. Various methods have been explored in the realm of integrated pest management (IPM), but a current lack of attention is being given to animal-based biological control, which has been proven both practically effective and ecologically friendly by numerous studies from around the world. Vineyards, due to their frequent status as cultural heritage sites and large-scale monocultures, as well as their rigorous monitoring and control of their agroecology, have an especially high potential for benefiting from an IPM system with animals as central actors. Through a detailed review of various case studies and academic literature and with supplemental information from interviews with two Portuguese vineyards, this study assesses various animals as potential agents for biological control and discusses their benefits and limitations. While current limitations exist for its adoption globally, a shift towards an integrated and less heavily chemical-dependent pest management system is the only viable long-term solution to the growing threat of pesticide resistance and the continued success of global agriculture.


Animal Studies | Environmental Studies | European Languages and Societies | Viticulture and Oenology | Weed Science


Article Location