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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF ARTHROPOD PESTS OF PECAN AND PEACH

Location: Fruit and Nut Research

Title: Integrating biological control into pecan weevil management: a sustainable approach

Authors
item Hudson, William - UNIV OF GA, TIFTON
item Shapiro Ilan, David
item Gardner, Wayne - UNIV OF GA, GRIFFIN
item Cottrell, Ted
item Behle, Robert

Submitted to: Extension Fact Sheets
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: October 27, 2009
Publication Date: August 20, 2010
Repository URL: http://www.sare.org/publications/factsheet
Citation: Hudson, W.G., Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Gardner, W.A., Cottrell, T.E., Behle, R.W. 2010. Integrating biological control into pecan weevil management: a sustainable approach. Extension Fact Sheets. www.sare.org/publications/factsheet.

Interpretive Summary: The pecan weevil is a devastating pest of pecans. The pest can be controlled with certain chemical insecticides, but due to environmental and regulatory concerns, alternative methods of control are needed. This article summarizes research and makes recommendations based on a project that was funded in part by the USDA-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and that was aimed at developing biological methods of pecan weevil control. We found that two species of beneficial fungi can act as environmentally-friendly pesticides causing high levels of mortality in pecan weevil. Additionally, we discovered that the fungi are most effective when applied directly to the trunk, or when used with a cover crop. The results indicate substantial potential for alternative pecan weevil control tactics.

Technical Abstract: The pecan weevil, Curculio caryae, is a key pest of pecans. This article summarizes research and makes recommendations based on a project that was funded in part by the USDA-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and that was aimed at developing biological methods of C. caryae control. The entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae were found to be highly virulent to C. caryae. Additionally, we discovered that the fungi are most effective when applied directly to the trunk, or when used with a cover crop; addition of a compost soil amendment did not increase efficacy. Additional research should focus on large plot studies that examine the extent to which B. bassiana induced C. caryae mortality reduces crop damage.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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