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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Insect Ecology and Sustainable Systems for Insect Pest Management in the Southeastern Region

Location: Crop Protection and Management Research

Title: Physical barriers for suppression of movement of adult stink bugs into cotton

Author
item Tillman, Patricia

Submitted to: Journal of Pest Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 23, 2014
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Citation: Tillman, P.G. 2014. Physical barriers for suppression of movement of adult stink bugs into cotton. Journal of Pest Science. 87:419-427.

Interpretive Summary: Stink bugs are economic pests of cotton in farms in the southeastern USA. Because adult stink bugs disperse and aggregate at at crop-to-crop interfaces as they enter cotton, strategic placement in space and time of physical barriers at these interfaces could manage these pests. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a physical barrier, either plastic or plant-based, at the peanut-to-cotton interface for suppressing stink bugs that would move to cotton. For both years of the study, a planting of sorghum sudangrass about 6.5 ft high or a 6-ft-high plastic wall effectively deterred dispersal of stink bugs into cotton. Because each of these physical barriers was taller than cotton, their success in protecting cotton likely was due to disrupting the flight of adult stink bugs from low-growing peanut into cotton. In 2012, flowering buckwheat near cotton increased percentage parasitism of southern green stink bug adults by a parasite of this stink bug in cotton. In conclusion, a physical barrier at least as tall as cotton can effectively retard the entry of stink bug adults into cotton plots.

Technical Abstract: Nezara viridula (L.), Euschistus servus (Say), and Chinavia hilaris (Say) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) are economic pests of cotton in farmscapes in the southeastern USA. Because adult stink bugs exhibit edge-mediated dispersal at crop-to-crop interfaces as they colonize cotton, strategic placement of physical barriers at these interfaces could manage these pests. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a physical barrier, either synthetic or plant-based, at the peanut-to-cotton interface for suppressing stink bugs that would move to cotton. In 2012 and 2013, sorghum sudangrass (2.4 and 2.1 m high, respectively) was significantly taller than cotton (1.4 and 1.3 m high, respectively) which was taller than peanut (0.4 and 0.5 m high, respectively). Buckwheat (0.6 m high), planted only in 2012, was significantly taller than peanut, but shorter than cotton. For both years of the study, a sorghum sudangrass barrier or a 1.8-m-high barrier wall made of polypropylene effectively deterred dispersal of stink bugs into cotton. Because each of these barriers was taller than cotton, their success in protecting cotton likely was due to disruption of the flight of adult stink bugs from low-growing peanut into cotton. The shortest barrier wall (0.6-m-high) did not suppress stink bug dispersal into cotton probably because it was approximately the same height as peanut. In 2012, flowering buckwheat increased the efficacy of Trichopoda pennipes (F.) attacking N. viridula in cotton although it did not deter dispersal of stink bugs. In conclusion, a barrier at least as tall as cotton can effectively retard the entry of stink bug adults into cotton plots.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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