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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #435076

Research Project: Development of Applied Strategies to Prevent Exotic Ambrosia Beetle Damage in Ornamental Nurseries

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21000-001-009-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 18, 2018
End Date: Sep 17, 2023

(1) To determine protective effects of individual and combination treatments of semiochemical, fungicide, insecticide, and biological deterrents for preventing ambrosia beetle attacks in nurseries. (2) To determine residual activity of effective protective treatments identified under Objective 1 under varying conditions. (3) To evaluate tree tissues for potential new ambrosia-beetle-active-compounds induced by chemical or biological treatments.

This project will focus on attack prevention strategies at the tree level. Field and laboratory evaluations of insecticides, fungicides, semiochemicals, and biological deterrents will be performed against ambrosia beetles. Flood-stressed trees or ethanol filled trunk sections will be used to test treatment rates, timings before stress onset, combination treatments, and chemical enhancers (e.g., penetrants, wetting agents, stickers). Combinations of treatments that have had partial efficacy will be a high priority focus to identify potential additive and synergistic effects. Some treatments with potential repellent activity initially may be evaluated with traps. Residual activity of insecticide trunk sprays (e.g., permethrin, bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos) will be evaluated by treating tree trunk sections at different intervals before ethanol introduction to determine volatility loss. Some of the insecticide residual treatments will be combined with simulated rainfall events to determine weathering effects on treatment efficacy. When attacks do occur, all treatments will be evaluated for gallery abandonment, effects on fungal growth in galleries, and presence absence of eggs and larvae. Treatments that demonstrate potential for inhibiting ambrosia beetle attacks will be further evaluated using trunk video recordings to evaluate pre- and post-landing ambrosia beetle behaviors (i.e., landing and departure rates, turning behavior, surface duration). For treatments that modify ambrosia behavior, bark and wood samples will be collected from non-treated and treated treatments to evaluate tissues for possible deterrent chemicals induced by treatments using LCMS and GCMS. Levels of stress-associated semiochemicals like ethanol also will be quantified for some treatments. Data and best management practices identified will be transferred to stakeholders via workshops, publications, and extension outreach activities.