Attract-and-Kill Strategies for Sustainable Striped Cucumber Beetle Management

Project Overview

LNE20-413R
Project Type: Research Only
Funds awarded in 2020: $180,315.00
Projected End Date: 02/28/2023
Grant Recipients: UNH Cooperative Extension; University of Vermont; USDA-ARS
Region: Northeast
State: New Hampshire
Project Leader:
Dr. Anna Wallingford
UNH Cooperative Extension

Commodities

  • Vegetables: cucurbits

Practices

  • Pest Management: chemical control, cultural control, trap crops

    Proposal abstract:

    Problem, Novel Approach and Justification:

    Striped cucumber beetle (SCB) is a serious pest of cucumber, melon, squashes, and pumpkin. While effective chemical controls are available in conventional systems, concern for pollinators visiting these pollinator-dependent crops has driven demand for non-chemical or bee-safe alternatives. Behavioral controls can replace chemical controls, or be integrated with other tools and tactics to achieve control with a dramatic reduction in insecticide use and unwanted non-target effects.

    Attract-and-kill (A&K) approaches lure pest insects to a source of poison, which is often combined with an arrestant or feeding stimulant. Here we seek to develop and field test an A&K approach using SCB aggregation pheromone (vittatalactone) to lure beetles to a bait station containing a feeding stimulant (cucurbitacin) laced with a gut poison (spinosad).

    Research Plan:

    Experiments will address questions regarding trap development and issues with trap deployment, like how much area around traps is affected and how long components of our traps will last in the field (NH, MD). Experiments will also include field-scale evaluations of our system in collaboration with farmers in NH, VT, and ME.

    Outreach Plan:

    This project will generate peer-reviewed and editor-reviewed manuscripts that contribute to our understanding of insect behavior and pest management. In addition to generating extension publications, research results will be presented at grower presentations, twilight meetings, field days, and through direct transfer of information to growers in one-on-one interactions.

     

    Project Objective:

    The ultimate goal of this project is to develop an effective and adoptable attract-and-kill (A&K) approach for managing striped cucumber beetle (SCB), using attractive odors, selective feeding stimulants, and the judicious use of bee-safe insecticides.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    The ultimate goal of this project is to develop an effective and adoptable attract-and-kill (A&K) approach for managing striped cucumber beetle (SCB), using attractive odors, selective feeding stimulants, and the judicious use of bee-safe insecticides.

    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.