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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #438159

Research Project: Wigging Out, Then Wigging In: Removing Earwigs From Stone Fruit and Augmenting Them in Pome Fruit

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-22430-003-004-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2020
End Date: Apr 1, 2023

Objective:
Our project will improve biocontrol of pome orchard pests by developing tactics to mass trap and then inoculate earwigs, a critical and underappreciated predator. 1. Develop a mass trapping protocol for earwigs to support releases in pome fruit by removing them from stone fruit orchards where they are pests. a. Determine which trap type catches the largest number of earwigs in stone fruit orchards (Year 1) b. Measure success of earwig mass trapping in stone fruit orchards (Year 2-3) 2. Examine potential of earwig augmentation in pome fruit. a. Determine if earwigs cause damage to pears or to ‘Honeycrisp’ apples (Year 1) b. Determine optimal release rates and timing to establish augmented earwigs (Year 1-3) c. Examine the efficacy of adding shelters to increase abundance of existing earwig populations (Years 2-3) d. Test potential of using drones to release earwigs (Years 2-3) 3. Screen non-target effects of pesticides on earwigs. (Years 2-3) a. Determine acute short-term toxicity of organic and conventional tree fruit pesticides to earwigs b. Examine sublethal effects of pesticides on earwig motor coordination and predation 4. Improve stakeholder knowledge on earwig IPM. a. Summarize research findings at grower meetings (Years 2-3) b. Conduct field days on collaborating grower farms to demonstrate earwig monitoring and effects on pest populations (Year 2) c. Create widely available extension documents describing earwig biology, monitoring, and augmentation (Years 1-3) d. Create an online video and photo library to convey project results and demonstrate earwig trapping and augmentation (Years 1-3) e. Measure changes in grower knowledge with surveys throughout the project (Years 1-3)

Approach:
Our project will improve biocontrol of pome orchard pests by developing tactics to mass trap and then inoculate earwigs, a critical and underappreciated predator. 1. Develop a mass trapping protocol for earwigs to support releases in pome fruit by removing them from stone fruit orchards where they are pests. a. Determine which trap type catches the largest number of earwigs in stone fruit orchards (Year 1) b. Measure success of earwig mass trapping in stone fruit orchards (Year 2-3) 2. Examine potential of earwig augmentation in pome fruit. a. Determine if earwigs cause damage to pears or to ‘Honeycrisp’ apples (Year 1) b. Determine optimal release rates and timing to establish augmented earwigs (Year 1-3) c. Examine the efficacy of adding shelters to increase abundance of existing earwig populations (Years 2-3) d. Test potential of using drones to release earwigs (Years 2-3) 3. Screen non-target effects of pesticides on earwigs. (Years 2-3) a. Determine acute short-term toxicity of organic and conventional tree fruit pesticides to earwigs b. Examine sublethal effects of pesticides on earwig motor coordination and predation 4. Improve stakeholder knowledge on earwig IPM. a. Summarize research findings at grower meetings (Years 2-3) b. Conduct field days on collaborating grower farms to demonstrate earwig monitoring and effects on pest populations (Year 2) c. Create widely available extension documents describing earwig biology, monitoring, and augmentation (Years 1-3) d. Create an online video and photo library to convey project results and demonstrate earwig trapping and augmentation (Years 1-3) e. Measure changes in grower knowledge with surveys throughout the project (Years 1-3)