- Agronomic: soybeans, wheat
- Pest Management: biological control
- Production Systems: organic agriculture
The purpose of this project is to improve management of stink bug pests by focusing on conservation biological control of a parasitic insect, Telenomus podisi, that attacks stink bug eggs. The practice of conservation biological control seeks to modify aspects of agricultural environments to enhance beneficial organisms. Although insecticides are effective against stink bug adults and nymphs, they have been found to be ineffective against eggs but lethal for egg parasitoids. Insecticides, whether they are synthetic or organic, can have significant impacts on beneficial insects and other ecological components in farm landscapes, as well as human applicators. As an external farm input, they are a recurring cost to growers, and reducing their need will improve agricultural sustainability. This study proposes to identify overwintering refuges that the egg parasitoid Telenomus podisi might utilize on farms as well as types of carbohydrate sources utilized for its daily functioning. This information will help us to provide recommendations to growers on what plants and trees to keep or maintain on farms to enhance on-farm populations of the parasitoid, and reduce potentially damaging populations of stink bugs.
Project objectives from proposal:
1. Determine the presence of overwintering Telenomus podisi in other potential refuge sites like tree barks, dried fruiting and flowering bodies, insect cocoons, fallen pine cones etc. that might be utilized by Telenomus podisi in the field.
2. Determine the lifespan and reproductive ability of Telenomus podisi when offered carbohydrate sources in the form of various flowering plants, and homopteran honeydew.