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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Southern Horticultural Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop strategies for controlling insects that are problematic in nursery settings (e.g., fire ants, tree borers, Japanese beetles) in the southeastern United States and/or develop strategies for implementation of low-residual pesticides.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
1) Elucidate the physiological chemical ecology of fire ants and other insects that are problematic in greenhouses, container pads, fields, and other environs suitable for growing ornamental crops. 2) Develop spray strategies to best use pesticides (specifically fungicides) that have low residual acitivity.

3. Progress Report
Field experiments were implemented for controlling fire ants and Japanese beetles in southeastern U.S. nurseries as well as to test the efficacies of low residual pesticides. Root ball drenches in combination with root ball rotation were investigated as practical protocols for reducing pesticide usage while enhancing control of fire ants and Japanese beetles. Root ball rotation improved control of both Japanese beetle and fire ants. Two or four total drenches were effective with rotation for most insecticides evaluated, which is a reduction in total drench number for growers who must currently apply six drenches to comply with federal fire ant regulations. Drenches are not approved for treatment of field-grown nursery stock in Japanese beetle regulations, but data from these tests support drench effectiveness with rotation. Tree Ring and bucket tests were scheduled for 2011 for Japanese beetle control. They have not been completed at this time, but will be evaluated in the spring of 2012. Tractor applied pyrethroid bands in combination with injections targeting large-sized fire ant mounds were very effective at eliminating ant colonies from nurseries (presently 100% control at 13 weeks after treatment). The 2009 biopesticide tests involved containerized plants that were tested alone and in combination with low rates of carbaryl (Sevin SL 0.0625 lb AI/100 gal), bifenthrin (Onyx Pro; 0.0125 lb AI/100 gal), and trichlorfon (Dylox 420SL; 0.0625 lb AI/100 gal). In addition, a new biopesticide called Dazitol (capsaicin and related capsaicinoids [0.42%] and allyl isothiocyanate [3.7%]) was tested in the spring and fall. Armorex (rosemary oil [1%], garlic oil [2%], clove oil [2%], white pepper [0.5%], and sesame oil [84.5%]) and Veggie Pharm (organic coconut oil soap [63.8%], soil oil [19.2%], garlic oil [11%], peppermint oil [0.8%], rosemary oil [0.8%], sodium bicarbonate [2.2%], and potassium chloride [2.2%]) were evaluated with and without permethrin as trunk sprays against ambrosia beetles. All biopesticides provided 100% Japanese beetle grub control when applied to container media in combination with Onyx Pro and Dylox 420SL. The biopesticides Armorex, EcoTrol, and Triact 70 also provided 100% grub control when combined with Sevin SL, but Azatin XL and Cinnacure did not. Dazitol was 100% efficacious against Japanese beetle grubs in containers at rates of 14.2 and 37.9 ml product/gal. Additionally, for ambrosia beetle control, Armorex, Veggie Pharm, permethrin, and combinations of biopesticides with permethrin provided significantly greater protection of trees. Trees were artificially stressed with ethanol injections to induce mass ambrosia beetle attacks, so results indicate potential for biopesticide/insecticide combinations to protect stressed trees from ambrosia beetles. These project results and new control techniques have been disseminated to nursery growers, landscapers, and the general public through educational presentations. The ADODR or designated representative met regularly with the cooperating scientist, and these meetings included site visits.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 07/25/2017
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