Project Number: 2092-22000-022-030-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 1, 2022
End Date: Jun 30, 2024
The overall goal of this project is to refine current efforts to manage wireworms by developing basic information to improve prediction of wireworm infestation in potato, and will lead to the development of lures and traps to monitor click beetle (adult wireworm) presence and numbers. Specific objectives include 1) Use recently identified click beetle pheromones to improve trapping methods, and characterize seasonal phenology of pest species; 2) Field screen possible pheromone compounds; and 3) Identify new pheromone compounds.
Various pheromone trapping methods will be evaluated for their efficacy, which will include factors such as trap design, placement, and lure device type. Screening of putative pheromone chemicals from several species, and structural analogs, will take place in native vegetation in potato-growing areas where diverse and relatively dense assemblages of wireworm species can be found; in addition, screening will take place in agricultural habitats where pestiferous species of wireworms are prevalent. Traps will be baited with test compounds and will be placed in crop fields or at field borders adjacent to non-crop habitat. Traps will be monitored weekly and catches will be identified to species and sex. Adult beetles will be collected by sweep netting for volatile collections. Extracts of collected volatiles will be analyzed by gas chromatography-electroantennography to locate likely pheromone compounds, which will then be identified by a combination of GC-mass spectrometry, GC retention indices, and microchemical tests. Identified compounds will be synthesized or purchased, and field tested. Additional field trials may be conducted to optimize blends, ratios, and doses.