From the above results, it becomes evident that 2,4-D can profoundly influence rice defenses and, as a consequence, alter the interaction of the plant with other organisms, up to the third trophic level. This was confirmed in field experiments, in which 2,4-D-treated plants attracted significantly larger numbers of BPH adults, which led to a significantly higher egg load on treated plants. Parasitism by A. nilaparvatae was also increased on the same plants, which may explain the small numbers of nymphs on the plants. This effect of 2,4-D application on two trophic levels has interesting control potential, as it can concentrate pest insects and natural enemies on the same plants, and thereby may be used to redistribute and reduce pest damage in neighboring plants. This is the principal behind the push–pull strategy in pest control, whereby some plants are highly attractive to pests, whereas others are not, or are even repellent (Cook et al., 2007). In the most successful example of a push–pull approach, natural enemies of the pest are attracted to the same plants that repel the pest (Khan et al., 2010). This is different for 2,4-D application, as it results in attraction of the pest and its natural enemy. If correctly exploited, this may have its advantages: planting rice in a conventional manner and applying 2,4-D to the edges of a field would create a trapping zone that reduces pest damage in the inner parts of the field. This would also lead to larger numbers of egg parasitoids in these zones, keeping pest reproduction to a minimum and creating a source of parasitoids that can attack the next generations of the pest, also in the untreated parts of the fields. If needed, insecticide treatments could be limited to the edges of the plots after parasitoid emergence. Contrary to common push–pull approaches (Cook et al., 2007), such a strategy could be realized with minimal additional costs to the farmer and no loss of cultivated area. As 2,4-D at low concentrations has no negative effects on rice development (Liu, 1963), the current study may thus provide the basis for the development of a novel and simple pest control strategy in rice. Further studies should confirm the effects of 2,4-D in a large-area field, and determine the best application method, including concentration, application time and application area. Furthermore, it should be verified to what extent the strategy can reduce the vectoring of viruses by BPH. As a result of its simple implementation, a 2,4-D-based control technique for BPH could be adopted quickly in rice-growing regions around the world.