Perverse consequences of infrequently culling a pest

Alan J. Terry, Stephen A. Gourley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


There are potentially many situations in which creatures will be subject to infrequent but regular culling. In terms of controlling crop pests, some farmers may only be able to afford to apply pesticides occasionally. Alternatively, pesticides may be applied only occasionally to limit their unwelcome side effects, which include pesticide resistance, chemical poisoning of agricultural workers, and environmental degradation. In terms of conservation, some species (such as the red deer in the UK) may be culled occasionally to maintain balances within their ecosystem. However, in this paper we discover, as the culmination of an exploration of adult-stage culling of a creature with juvenile and adult life stages, that, in certain circumstances, regular but infrequent culling will, perversely, increase the average population of the creature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1666-1695
Number of pages30
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Pest control
  • Impulsive adult culling
  • Delay differential equation


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