Location: Horticultural Crops Research
Project Number: 2072-22000-040-04-S
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 23, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2016
1) Identify natural enemies of key pests (aphids, mites, stink bugs, or slugs). 2) Develop floral diversification practices to enhance biological control. 3) Find options for controlling slugs.
Aphids and spider mites are ubiquitous pests in many nursery production systems. The invasive brown marmorated stink bug feeds on the meristems or bark of various woody ornamentals. Lastly, slugs are common in nursery systems but we have limited knowledge of how to monitor these pests. As a result, nurseries apply various insecticides to keep plants unmarred by pests. Fortunately, a variety of predators and parasitoids are naturally occurring or commercially available. Our research will primarily focus on tree yards since these systems have relatively fewer biological control recommendations compared to greenhouse systems. Project goals include identifying key natural enemies and conserving them with floral habitats, and finding less toxic control options for slugs.