Pesticides and beneficial organisms


Pesticides, natural enemies, beneficial organisms, selectivity, side-effects, biological control, IPM (integrated pest management)

Convenor JANSEN Jean Pierre
Liaison-Officer VOGT Heidrun


The group was founded in 1974.

  • It comprises about 50-80 scientists
  • Sub-groups with a small number of experts are established when needed to work on selected topics related with side-effects


The goal of the WG is to identify selective pesticides for beneficial arthropods and to promote their use, in order to enhance biological control in plant protection and reduce impact of pesticides on non-target organisms. To achieve this the WG offers through its meetings and sub-working groups a forum for exchange of information and stimulates contacts and cooperation between scientists, regulatory authorities and industry.


The WG

  • organizes bi-annual meetings (usually in October odd years) (until 2003 annual ones)
  • develops and optimizes standard methods according to a sequential scheme (laboratory to field) to evaluate the side-effects of pesticides on important beneficial organisms
  • generates accurate data on pesticide selectivity on a wide range of beneficials with standard methods
  • compiles knowledge about side-effects on beneficial organisms through pesticide selectivity database and transfer the information to the practice
  • ring tests and validates methods with the objective to achieve global recognition of IOBC standard test methods, especially in the context of pesticide registration
  • stimulates cooperation between scientists, regulatory authorities and industry
  • exchanges ideas and expertise among group members with EPPO, EU and BART and stimulate international collaboration, also with other IOBC WGs


Since 1980, standard guidelines to test the side-effects of pesticides on natural enemies, rearing methods for beneficial arthropods, comparison of results of laboratory, semi-field, field experiments and results of the joint programs to test the side-effects of pesticides on beneficial organisms have been published in the IOBC wprs Bulletin, the EPPO Bulletin, and various international scientific journals (see below).

The methods developed by the group have been accepted by the EU for use in the registration of pesticides. Validated and ring-tested methods have been published in 2000 (see below).

The results of testing the side-effects of about 140 pesticides on 20 beneficial organisms within the Joint Pesticide Testing Programs are being used world-wide by the extension services.

All side-effect results of the WG have been compiled and are available here: IP & IPM, IOBC IP Tool Box ( = Toolbox: Selectivity of pesticides)

WG Publications:

1988-1999: Publications (pdf)

Meeting 2011, 08-11 November, Marbella, Spain.
IOBC-WPRS Working Group "Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms", Meeting 08.-10.11.2011, Marbella, Costa del Sol, Spain
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Meeting 2009, 07-09 October, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
WG Meeting 2009, Dubrovnik, Croatia
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Meeting 2007, 10-12 October, Berlin, Germany. Download: Abstracts (pdf)
WG Meeting 2007, Berlin, Germany
(Click to enlarge the picture.)

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