Project Number: 6034-22320-002-02
Start Date: Sep 17, 2013
End Date: Sep 16, 2018
The neonicotinoid class of insecticides is widely used for controlling whiteflies in many cropping systems including ornamental and floriculture crops and are in very grave danger of being removed from the market place in the United States due to concerns over toxicity to pollinators. This class of insecticides has already been banned from use in the European Union and the state of Oregon has recently taken measures to do the same. Environmental groups have blanketed the President with letters requesting cessation of the entire neonicotinoid class which would be catastrophic not only to the ornamental and floriculture industry but also to cotton, field, and vegetable production as they all rely heavily on this class to manage many economically important plant sucking pests. The approach of this cooperative research project is to evaluate alternatives to this class of insecticides by working closely with the chemical industry to identify registered pesticides and those near registration that could fill the void created if the neonicotinoid class was banned. We will focus on whitefly control since this is the primary pest affected and will cause the greatest amount of damage/cost to the ornamental and floriculture industry if neonicotinoids are lost. We will continue to evaluate commercially available predatory mites (Amblyseius swirskii, Amblyseius cucumeris and Amblyseius andersonii) for development and integration into BMPs including their susceptibility to alternative insecticides and their utility in banker plant systems currently under development. We have developed BMPs for whitefly targeted at propagated ornamentals and plants for planting intended for export as well as BMPs for thrips targeted at plants for planting. All management programs are evolving and new data will be integrated into existing programs and programs yet to be developed for potential new invasive pests of ornamental and floriculture production.