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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327450

Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Tactics to Manage Invasive Insect Pests and Weeds

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Companion and refuge plants to control insect pests

item Legaspi, Jesusa - Susie
item Miller, Neil
item HASEEB, MUHAMMAD - Florida A & M University
item KANGA, LAMBERT - Florida A & M University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Introduction: The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci and aphids are major pests of crops in the southeast USA. An environmentally-friendly management strategy is “push-pull” technology which combines the use of repellent (“push”) and trap crops (“pull”) for insect pest control. The repellent crop, Giant red mustard, can decrease whitefly oviposition in vegetables. To complement push-pull, refuge plants can attract and sustain beneficial insects. The objectives of our study were: 1) Evaluate arugula (Eruca sativa) and mustard (Brassica juncea) as repellents against B. tabaci. 2) Evaluate attractiveness of sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) to predatory hoverflies in kale (Brassica oleracea) crops to control aphids. Methods: Repellency tests were conducted using an olfactometer. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) acted as attractive odor sources and controls. Repellent plants were arugula (E. sativa cv. Nemat), and mustard (B. juncea cv. Caliente 19 and giant red mustard). Green-colored discs served as visual attractants. Potted sweet alyssum plants were placed under malaise traps to sample hoverflies, and intercropped with kale throughout the 2014 fall season. Results/Conclusion: Nemat, arugula and giant red mustard elicited no movement in whiteflies, which we interpret as arrested behavior, while var. Caliente mustard repelled whiteflies. Kale plots with sweet alyssum had more hoverflies than control plots. Toxomerus marginatus was the most common among 7 hoverfly species sampled. In general, Nemat arugula, giant red mustard and caliente mustard are potential repellents against whiteflies, and may be used as the “push” component in “push-pull” crop management. Sweet alyssum can serve as refuge plants for hoverflies as a complementary strategy.