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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Developing and Integrating Novel Strategies for Managing Exotic Ambrosia Beetles in Ornamental Nurseries

Location: Application Technology Research Unit

Project Number: 3607-22000-012-13
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 18, 2013
End Date: Jul 30, 2018

Objective:
(1) Assess the influence of abiotic stress on host susceptibility to ambrosia beetles; (2) identify volatiles emitted from physiologically-stressed trees and used by ambrosia beetles during host-selection; (3) evaluate the influence of color on trap attractiveness; (4) assess the efficacy of permethrin-based insecticides and ethanol-masking treatments for preventing ambrosia beetle attacks; and (5) pursue a ‘push-pull’ management strategy for protecting vulnerable nursery stock from ambrosia beetles.

Approach:
Non-native ambrosia beetles are significant pests of field-grown nursery crops, particularly Xylosandrus crassiusculus. Field and laboratory-based experiments will address a variety of topics related to ambrosia beetle biology, behavior, and management. Research will assess the preference of X. crassiusculus for physiologically-stressed trees, including those injured by flooding, drought, girdling, and frost injury. Attacks on stressed trees will be compared to healthy trees and the species colonizing the trees will be determined. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry will be used to identify volatiles emitted from stressed trees, and electrophysiological techniques will also be used to characterize the antennal response of X. crassiusculus' to key volatiles. An electroantennogram (EAG) and a gas chromatograph coupled with an electroantennographic detector (EAD) will be used. Optimum trapping methods will be determined for monitoring ambrosia beetle flight activity, including the influence of color on trap attractiveness to ambrosia beetles. The efficacy of conventional insecticides and ethanol-masking treatments for preventing ambrosia beetle attacks on healthy and physiologically-stressed trees will also be assessed. Results from the aforementioned studies involving repellents and attractants will be used to develop a ‘push-pull’ management strategy for protecting vulnerable nursery stock from ambrosia beetles.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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