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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Research Project #432065

Research Project: Armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Florida Strawberries: Species Composition, Impact, and Biopesticides for Management

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Project Number: 6036-22000-030-13-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2017
End Date: Feb 28, 2019

Sample the armyworm (Spodoptera spp.) community in Florida strawberries in order characterize the species complex and phenology, as well as naturally-occurring parasitoids emerging from larvae. Determine a nominal threshold for armyworm density and damage in Florida strawberry and assess efficacy of biopesticides for armyworm control. The University of Florida Extension Entomologist will provide resources (printed and electronic material and smartphone strawberry pest ID application additions) on armyworm control recommendations to area strawberry growers.

Pheromone-baited traps for common armyworm species (Spodoptera (S.) frugiperda, S. eridania, S. exempta, S. exigua) will be deployed in 8-10 commercial strawberry fields in the Plant City area of Florida. At 4-5 strawberry fields with greatest early-season adult armyworm captures, appearance of larvae and larval damage surveys will be conducted before and after insecticides are applied by growers. A relationship between armyworm larval density, species, and feeding duration with plant injury, size and yield will be characterized in small field cages. A laboratory assay will be conducted to determine efficacy of biopesticides that are OMRI-listed, against armyworm larvae (S. frugiperda, S. eridania).