- Fruits: grapes
- Crop Production: application rate management
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension
- Farm Business Management: feasibility study
- Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, field monitoring/scouting
The vine mealybug is a severe, new vineyard pest in California. Typical treatment relies on application(s) of organophosphate or carbamate insecticides. We investigated the use of less-disruptive insecticides, releases of natural enemies, and mating disruption as alternative control strategies. Results show a systemic application of imidacloprid or a foliar application of buprofezin reduces crop damage. Inoculative release of a parasite (Anagyrus pseudococci) also reduced crop damage; currently, this natural enemy is not commercially available. Similarly, mating disruption using a synthetic sex pheromone can suppress mealybug populations, but the sprayable formulation is not yet registered in the United States. There is great potential in both augmentation and mating disruption, which are being further developed for commercial use.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
(1) Improve timing, dosage, and delivery methods for “least-disruptive” insecticides (e.g., Admire) that target early-season vine mealybug populations.
(2) Test inoculative release(s) of Anagyrus pseudococci in vineyards using “least-disruptive” insecticides and compare parasitoid effectiveness in vineyards with “least-disruptive” and “standard” organophosphate insecticide applications.
(3) Test and develop a mating disruption program using the synthetic sex pheromone.
(4) Involve collaborating growers, farm managers, and Cooperative Extension personnel in on-farm experiments and parasitoid rearing operations; conduct field days to extend information to a larger audience; and produce research- and grower-oriented publications to improve extension.