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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF ARTHROPOD PESTS OF PECAN AND PEACH Title: Alternative pest control research

Authors
item Shapiro Ilan, David
item Cottrell, Ted
item Reilly, Charles
item Hotchkiss, Michael
item Wood, Bruce

Submitted to: Southeastern Pecan Growers Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 26, 2009
Publication Date: July 2, 2009
Citation: Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Cottrell, T.E., Reilly, C.C., Hotchkiss, M.W., Wood, B.W. 2009. Alternative pest control research. In: Proceedings of the Southeastern Pecan Growers Meeting. January 12-14, 2009, Savannah, Georgia. 102:50-61.

Interpretive Summary: Due to the benefits of conserving natural enemies, and based on environmental and regulatory concerns, a reduced reliance on chemical pesticides in pecan management is desirable. In this paper we describe three studies directed toward alternative control: 1) Pre-emergence nematode applications for pecan weevil control, 2) Exploring interactions among microbial control agents and chemical insecticides, 3) Suppression of pecan diseases using bacteria or bacterial metabolites. In the first study the goal is to kill the pecan weevils before they emerge. In field plots, we discovered that multiple applications of entomopathogenic (insect-killing) nematodes can substantially reduce pecan weevil populations in pots. It appears that multiple nematode applications to the soil during the weevil's 2-3 year life cycle have significant potential for control of this pest. In the second study (interactions among microbial and chemical pesticides), our results indicate potential for enhanced pecan weevil control through the combination of certain microbial agents (nematode and fungi) and chemical insecticides. Additional research such as field studies is warranted. In the third study, we discovered that certain bacteria or their metabolites (by-products) can suppress a variety of pecan plant diseases such as scab and Phytophthora. Additional research is required to explore scale-up and field testing of these agents.

Technical Abstract: Due to the benefits of conserving natural enemies, and based on environmental and regulatory concerns, a reduced reliance on chemical pesticides in pecan management is desirable. In this paper we describe three studies directed toward alternative control: 1) Pre-emergence nematode applications for pecan weevil control, 2) Exploring interactions among microbial control agents and chemical insecticides, 3) Suppression of pecan diseases using bacteria or bacterial metabolites. In the first study the goal is to kill the pecan weevils (Curculio caryae) before they emerge. In field plots, we discovered that multiple applications of the entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema carpocapsae, can substantially reduce pecan weevil populations in pots. It appears that multiple nematode applications to the soil during the weevil's 2-3 year life cycle have significant potential for control of this pest. In the second study (interactions among microbial and chemical pesticides), our results indicate potential for enhanced C. caryae control through the combination of certain microbial agents (entomopathogenic nematode and fungi) and chemical insecticides such as carbaryl. Additional research such as field studies is warranted. In the third study, we discovered that certain bacteria or their metabolites (by-products) can suppress a variety of pecan plant diseases such as scab and Phytophthora. Additional research is required to explore scale-up and field testing of these agents.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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