Start Date: Sep 16, 2008
End Date: Sep 15, 2013
Exotic ambrosia beetles belonging to the subfamily Scolytinae are increasingly being recognized as key pests of field-grown nursery crops. The granulate ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus crassiusculus, has become a significant pest of ornamental nursery crops stock since accidentally being introduced into the U.S. from Asia. Studies aimed at improving monitoring and detection techniques are necessary for predicting attacks and closely timing insecticide applications with the flight activity of X. crassiusculus. Experiments on repellents and attractants could also be used to develop a “push-pull” management strategy, whereby ambrosia beetles are “pushed” or repelled away from vulnerable nursery stock and “pulled” or attracted into destructive traps. The objectives of this proposal are to investigate novel interception strategies for X. crassiusculus, to optimize trapping as a monitoring and mass trapping tactic, and to develop a push/pull strategy for use in the nursery agroecosystem. Traps will be deployed to test potential volatile attractants for X. crassiusculus, which will be correlated with environmental data. Trap trees will also be developed for testing repellents, reduced-risk insecticides, and mass trapping purposes.