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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CLASSICAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF INSECT PESTS OF CROPS IN THE NORTHEASTERN U.S. Title: Effect of insecticide regimens on biological control of Lygus lineolaris (Hemiptera: Miridae) by Peristenus spp. (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in New York apple orchards

Authors
item Crampton, Lora - CORNELL UNIV.
item Loeb, Greg - CORNELL UNIV.
item Hoelmer, Kim
item Hoffman, Michael - CORNELL UNIV.

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 17, 2008
Publication Date: April 17, 2010
Repository URL: http://www.insectscience.org/10.36
Citation: Crampton, L., Loeb, G., Hoelmer, K.A., Hoffman, M. 2010. Effect of insecticide regimens on biological control of Lygus lineolaris (Hemiptera: Miridae) by Peristenus spp. (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in New York apple orchards. Journal of Insect Science. vol. 10, article 36 (2010)

Interpretive Summary: Apple producers in New York state and elsewhere in the northeastern US have formidable pest and disease pressures and consequently rely heavily on broad-spectrum insecticides. Newer generation “reduced-risk” pesticides have also become available in recent years. Biological controls may also be important but are also impacted by pesticides. The tarnished plant bug (TPB), an important direct pest of apples in New York, is attacked by several native natural enemy species but these fail to provide adequate biological control. A European parasite that was introduced from France in the 1980’s became established in the northeastern U.S. and has reduced plant bug numbers significantly in alfalfa grown for forage. It has also spread to high value crops such as strawberries and apples. Our study examined the effect pesticide regimens had on rates of natural enemy activity against TPB in apple orchards. We compared levels of parasite activity in commercial apples that used standard insecticide treatment regimes, organically approved insecticides only, “reduced-risk” insecticides, and abandoned apple orchards without insecticide applications. The type of pesticide regime used in apples had significant influence on biological control of TPB. There was no significant difference in parasitism between the abandoned orchards and the standard orchards. However, organic farms had significantly lower parasitism than standard farms, while “reduced-risk” orchards had significantly higher likelihood of parasitism than standard orchards. More research is required to establish cause and effect relationships of organic and reduced-risk pesticides on beneficial arthropods.

Technical Abstract: Apple producers in New York state and the northeastern US have formidable pest and disease pressures and utilize a range of chemical regimens that rely heavily on broad-spectrum organophosphate, carbamate, and pyrethroid insecticides. The tarnished plant bug Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), an important direct pest of apples in New York, is attacked by several native species of braconid parasitoids in the Peristenus pallipes species complex that do not provide adequate biological control in most crops. Two European parasitoids, P. digoneutis and P. rubricollis, were introduced from France in the 1980’s into alfalfa, and robust populations of P. digoneutis that established significantly reduced L. lineolaris populations in forage alfalfa and spread to high value crops such as strawberries and apples. Our study examined the effect pesticide regimen had on rates of parasitism by Peristenus spp. on L. lineolaris in apple orchards by comparing parasitism in commercial apples using the industry standard insecticide regime, organically approved insecticides only, reduced-risk insecticides, and abandoned apple orchards where no insecticides were applied. Pesticide regime in apples significantly influenced biological control of L. lineolaris. Parasitism rates of L. lineolaris nymphs by Peristenus species, averaged over the different treatments and regions, showed two distinct peaks occurring in mid-June and mid-July. The overall parasitism rates ranged from 14% in organic orchards to a high of 37% in an abandoned orchard in central New York region. There was no significant difference in parasitism between the abandoned orchards and the standard orchards. However, organic farms had significantly lower likelihood of parasitism when compared with standard farms, while reduced risk orchards had significantly higher likelihood of parasitism than standard orchards. More research is required to establish cause and effect relationships of organic and reduced-risk pesticides on beneficial arthropods.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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