The title of the project: From Beneficial Insect to Economic Pest: a Sustainable Management to the Asian Lady Beetle in Midwestern Grapes

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2004: $9,633.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Grant Recipient: Univeristy of Minnesota
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
William Hutchison
Univeristy of Minnesota

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: grapes


  • Education and Training: extension, on-farm/ranch research
  • Pest Management: biorational pesticides, chemical control, cultural control, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, row covers (for pests), traps
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems

    Proposal abstract:

    The multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) is considered a beneficial, predator of numerous aphid pests in many corps, including pecan and soybean. However, despite the benefits of H. axyridis, it has become a significant pest of fall ripening fruit in Minnesota and the Midwestern U.S., including infestations in grapes. Live or dead beetles, crushed with grapes during the wine making process, create an unpleasant odor and taste. Economic consequences of this pest include complete losses to growers, or increased costs from additional time and labor needed to wash and process grapes before juicing. Given the potential for continuing economic impacts by this pest, and a lack of research-based management alternatives, this project will assess new approaches to minimize beetle infestations and guidelines to reduce insecticide use. Project outcomes, including the use of on-farm research and rapid web-based delivery methods, will increase grower awareness regarding new management tactics, including the potential for floating row covers, chemical control, and the possibility of using trap cropping to attract and kill beetles outside of the primary vineyard. In addition, this project will explore possible reasons for H. axyridis feeding on ripening grapes and the role of wasps in this process. The outcomes will guide the grape growers toward sustainable management of H. axyridis through use of environmentally benign tactics and mitigation of unnecessary spraying. Research results and recommendations will be delivered in a timely manner via web-based fact sheets, articles in the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable IPM News, MN Grape Growers Assoc. (MGGA) Newsletter, the MGGA Web site, annual MGGA meetings, and scientific publications.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    This project will greatly increase the awareness of a new, significant pest affecting grape growers in the Midwestern U.S., the multicolored Asian Lady beetle (ALB), Harmonia axyridis (Pallas). Of all the eastern U.S. states with grapes being contaminated with ALB, only Missouri provides a brief recommendation for management.

    Grower awareness will be enhanced by several on-farm research projects, annual meetings with the MN Grape Growers (MGGA; 500+ members), and via timely publication of fact sheets and research updates.

    Web-based articles will be published via a new MN Fruit & Vegetable Grower Newsletter, as well as the MGGA Web site.

    In addition to new management tactics, this project will improve our understanding of why massive flights of ALB are attracted to maturing grapes, and the interaction of beetles and wasps during the infestation process.

    The short-term outcome will be an improved understanding of the Grape-ALB system and potential ALB management options.

    The intermediate-term outcome will be the recommendation of sustainable management tactics, and an assessment of grower acceptability via a survey at grower meetings. The outcomes will also be applicable to grape researchers and critical for enhancing growers’ ability to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of this high-value crop.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.