Assessing attract-and-kill as a new management strategy for Japanese beetle in Wisconsin vineyards

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2021: $12,080.00
Projected End Date: 05/31/2023
Grant Recipient: UW-Madison
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Christelle Guédot
University of Wisconsin - Madison


  • Fruits: grapes


  • Crop Production: pollination, pollinator habitat
  • Pest Management: chemical control, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management

    Proposal abstract:

    The Japanese Beetle (Popillia Japonica Newman, JB) is an invasive insect that negatively impacts many plant species in Wisconsin, including several agricultural crops. Vineyards often experience high JB injury due to adult feeding preference for grape and adequate habitat for larval development in vineyards. Attract-and-kill (A&K) is a management strategy consisting of the combination of semiochemical attractants and a killing agent. A&K, an alternative strategy to the chemical control that represents the current grower standard, can lead to fewer insecticide applications. For example, A&K was recently shown to decrease the number of brown marmorated stink bugs (Halyomorpha halys) and the injury caused by stink bugs in fruit crops, resulting in 97% less crop area treated with insecticides. Our study aims to assess the impact of A&K on JB in vineyards. Ghost nets will consist of an insecticidal netting draped over a pole that will be baited with JB dual commercial lures. These ghost nets will be placed around the perimeter of a vineyard that will receive no pesticide applications, while control fields will be treated with pesticides at the grower’s discretion and will consist of ghost nets that lack both the insecticidal coating and the dual lures. Our objectives are to (1) assess the impact of A&K stations (ghost nets) on adult JB in Wisconsin vineyards, and (2) assess the impact of ghost nets on bee pollinators in vineyards. Sampling will record the number of JBs and bees killed in the ghost nets, number of JB and bees found along transects in the vineyards, and percent JB injury on leaves along transects in the fields. The expected outcomes of this project include 1) improved understanding by researchers, educators, and growers of how attract and kill can be used to manage JB and decrease the insecticide impact on bees, and 2) increased implementation of A&K by North Central region fruit growers, achieving more effective JB management and decreasing insecticide applications for JB. We will rely on a grower advisory panel and grower surveys to assess the impact and feasibility of this management strategy. We will present research results at the Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference and at the Cold Climate Grape Webinar series. The outcomes of this project will be relevant to North Central region fruit growers experiencing JB damage. Information gathered from this study will help to provide more sustainable management strategies to Wisconsin grape growers.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The expected learning outcomes for this project are as follows: 1) researchers and grape growers will learn how A&K ghost nets compare to current grower standard practices for JB management; 2) researchers and grape growers will learn how A&K ghost nets impact bee abundance and diversity compared to current grower standard practices; 3) researchers and grape growers will learn what species of bees are commonly foraging in vineyards. The expected action outcomes of this project are as follows: 1) grape growers will start implementing ghost nets in their vineyard as a management strategy for JB; 2) using A&K ghost nets, grape growers will experience JB management results comparable to that of current management practices, while decreasing the negative effects of pesticide applications.

    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.