Location: Southern Horticultural Research
Project Number: 6062-21430-002-09-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 8, 2013
End Date: Jul 7, 2018
Two horticultural entomological studies are proposed: 1) to conduct life-history analysis of the new and invasive insect pest, the Spotted-Wing Drosophila (SWD) to determine if key ornamental plants grown in the southern USA may be susceptible to economic damage, and 2) to characterize and refine soil-incorporated insecticide applications to control imported fire ants (IFA) in container plants.
For study 1) a variety of locally grown, common ornamental species will be examined to determine if Spotted-Wing Drosophila (SWD) is causing damage to plant structures. In particular, dogwoods, roses, and other common small-fruit species grown (esp. blue berry cultivars) in the Tennessee Valley will be examined. Adult monitoring traps will be deployed to determine if and when SWD are present in a given area. If SWD is detected, then standard life-history analysis will be performed for the infected plants(s). Special emphasis will be to determine if the infected host is a suitable reproductive host for SWD. For study 2), a leachate recovery system has been designed at the USDA-ARS-Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory for evaluating container substrates and plant growth inside a greenhouse. At least 3 alternative soil-substrates will be selected for studies using soil-incorporated insecticides. Soil-incorporation of insecticides will be conducted based on common established quarantine treatments for Imported Fire Ant (IFA) control. Bioassays will be conducted to determine the interaction of alternative soil-substrates and efficacy of various insecticides to control IFA.