Refining the Area-Wide Suppression of the Tarnished Plant Bug in Mississippi
Southern Insect Management Research Unit
2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to demonstrate the destruction of wild hosts of the tarnished plant bug (TPB) from field, road, and ditch margins in April and may to reduce populations buildups and prevent it from being an early-season pest of cotton and to evaluate the costs of wild host destruction as compared to benefits in terms of reduces insecticide use for plant bug control.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Selected wild hosts which are preferred reproduction hosts of plant bugs will be selectively sprayed with an herbicide or mowed during April and may in marginal areas around fields, roads, and ditches in a cotton producing area of the Delta measuring 4 x 4 miles. Plant bug populations on the remaining hosts will be measured weekly. Host plant density counts will be taken. Results will be compared to samples from 3 non-treated areas of the same size to measure the impact of the treatments on plant bug populations. Plant bug populations in cotton in the treated and untreated areas will be measured weekly during the growing season. Costs of the treatment and benefits to growers will be calculated from experimental data and from data collected from producers.
This is the final report for this project. Preference and utilization of cultivated and wild host plants by tarnished plant bugs was measured within a 10-square mile area in Stoneville, MS. Results indicate that before and during the cotton growing season, tarnished plant bugs utilize a progression of non-cultivated host plants as these plants reach stages that are attractive to plant bugs. This includes many of the pigweed species and horseweed which have become very abundant in the Mississippi Delta. Pigweed and horseweed can support very high population densities of tarnished plant bugs. These data suggest that management strategies for tarnished plant bugs infesting cotton should be directed towards populations utilizing non-cultivated hosts prior to immigration into cotton. Additional studies indicated that in-season management of tarnished plant bugs in cotton field edges reduced within-field populations, as well as movement to the interior of cotton fields. ADODR used site visit, email and telephone conferences to monitor activities of the project.