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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #210167

Title: Microbial Control of Insect Pests in Temperate Orchard Systems: Potential for Incorporation into IPM

item Lacey, Lawrence
item Shapiro Ilan, David

Submitted to: Annual Review of Entomology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/11/2007
Publication Date: 12/16/2007
Citation: Lacey, L.A., Shapiro Ilan, D.I. 2007. Microbial Control of Insect Pests in Temperate Orchard Systems: Potential for Incorporation into IPM. Annual Review Of Entomology 53:121-144.

Interpretive Summary: Insect and mite pests of pome fruit, stone fruit and nut crops take a substantial toll on crop yield that necessitates their regular control. The traditional means of control of arthropod pests of temperate tree fruit and nuts is through the application of broad spectrum insecticides. While they are capable of rapidly killing several pests, control of insects solely using chemical pesticides has generated a variety of problems including safety to applicators and the environment and the killing of natural enemies of pest species. USDA scientists at the Agricultural Research Service laboratories in Wapato, WA and Byron, GA have been working on microbial control agents, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes as alternatives to broad spectrum insecticides. They have reviewed the literature on this topic for a variety of fruit and nut crops and make recommendations on how microbial control agents can be incorporated into integrated control strategies.

Technical Abstract: Due to their selectivity and safety, microbial control agents appear to be ready made components of IPM systems that will not pose a threat to applicators or the environment and will allow other natural enemies to function. Control of several orchard pest insects using microbial control agents, including viruses, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), fungi and entomopathogenic nematodes have been demonstrated in apple, pear, stone fruits, citrus and several nut crops. Bt is the most used microbial for control of lepidopteran orchard pests. Significant use of entomopathogenic nematodes in citrus for control of root weevils is also reported. The granulovirus of codling moth is increasingly being used in apple and pear by organic growers with interest also shown by conventional growers. The current status and potential for incorporating microbial control into IPM systems for temperate orchards is discussed.