Submitted to: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/19/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Lacey, L.A., Horton, D.R., Chauvin, R.L., Stocker, J.M. 1999. Comparative efficacy of Beauveria bassiana, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Aldicarb for control of Colorado potato beetle in an irrigated desert agroecosystem and their effects on biodiversity. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 93:189-200. Interpretive Summary: The Colorado potato beetle is one of the most serious insect pests of potato in North America and Europe. Control of the beetle is traditionally accomplished using conventional chemical insecticides. Development of resistance to insecticides and concerns about their effects on humans and the environment will limit the availability of chemical insecticides in the near future. Microbial insecticides provide alternatives to chemical insecticides environmental contamination and without killing beneficial insects. Our studies demonstrate the usefulness of bacteria and fungi for control of the beetle and demonstrate their safety for beneficial insects. A control strategy that makes maximum use of ecologically sound interventions will provide a number of benefits including management of insecticide resistance and reduction of pesticide use, and will contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to Colorado potato beetle management.
Technical Abstract: Five weekly applications of the fungus, Beauveria bassiana, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, and the carbamate, aldicarb (Temik(R)) were compared for control of Colorado potato beetle in an irrigated desert cropping system. Aldicarb, provided the best beetle control and potato yields (45 metric tons/ha), but resulted in overall reduction of beneficial insects, particularly predatory bugs. Low and high label rates of the Raven(R) formulation of B. thuringiensis produced fair to excellent beetle control, yielded 33 and 40 metric tons/ha and enabled good survival in predatory bugs and other nontarget insects. Plots treated with B. bassiana resulted in poor control of beetles prior to row closure after which fair to good control was achieved. Yield in the Beauveria-treated plots was 33 metric tons/ha and effect on biodiversity was comparable to the Bt- treated plots. The lowest number of overwintering adult beetles was found in the plots treated with bacteria and fungi and the highest was found in control and aldicarb plots.