The rice brown planthopper (BPH) is one of the most important “outbreak” pests experienced in rice crops in many parts of SE Asia. There are several factors that might contribute to these outbreaks, including changing production practices, such as increased fertilizer use, aimed at achieving higher rice yields. However, the use of insecticides can destroy naturally occurring insect predators and parasites that keep BPH populations under control. Many research papers demonstrate that pesticides are the most important cause of BPH outbreaks.

Hopper Race – This short video extract of a longer TV film was directed by Ms Juka Kawaai and initially screened on TVE JAPAN [this TV station no longer exists]. Many thanks to Dr KL Heong for helping prepare this Story.

Further references:

Way, M.J. and Heong, K.L. 1994. The role of biodiversity in the dynamics and management of insect pests of tropical irrigated rice – A review. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 84, 567-587. pdf file way-and-heong

Heong, K.L. and Schoenly, K.G. 1998. Impact of insecticides on herbivore-natural enemy communities in tropical rice ecosystems. Pp 381-403 (P. T. Haskell and P. McEwen Eds.) “Ecotoxicology: Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms”. Chapman and Hall, London. pdf file – Heong and Schoenly