Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE97-162
Mr. Berecz raises perennial ornamentals in a greenhouse. He obtained a SARE grant to experiment with non-chemical methods of controlling two common insect pest species of greenhouses– fungus gnats and western flower thrips. He used the following treatments in combination:
1) Steinernema feltiae, fungus gnat larvae
2) Neem extract, larvae of both pest species
3) hypoaspis miles, fungus gnat adults
4) Neoseiulus cucumeris, western flower trips adults
5) Beauveria bassiana, adults of both pest species
S. feltiaw is a nematode, H. miles and N. cucumeris are mites and B. bassiana is a fungus. All were purchased from commercial vendors and applied according to recommendations. Potato slices, which attracted fungus gnat larvae, were placed among the greenhouse plants and examined periodically to monitor populations. Adults were monitored with sticky cards, yellow for fungus gnats and blue for the western flower thrips. Results obtained with this complex of biological controls were compared with those obtained in another greenhouse where typical chemical treatments were used.
Mr. Berecz reports good control of pests in both greenhouses, but he says the biological control measures were much more expensive. He believes, however, that they may be made more competitive if a way can be found to reduce the labor involved.