New IPM Projects Confront Mosquitoes, Stink Bugs, and Diseases

The Northeast Regional IPM (RIPM) Competitive Grants Program funds projects that help to solve pest problems while reducing risks to human health and the environment. In 2011, the program has awarded approximately $600,000 to support five projects:

  • Management of the Asian Tiger Mosquito among Socioeconomically Diverse Urban Neighborhoods Through Community-based Education and Involvement (Paul Leisnham, Univ. of Maryland). This joint research-extension project aims to improve management of the Asian tiger mosquito, which can transmit West Nile virus and is difficult to manage in urban areas. Working with residents of Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD, project leaders will measure mosquito exposure and explore which outreach strategies are most likely to promote lasting behavior change and reduce the ineffective use of pesticides.
  • Development of Management Strategies Targeting the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys, in Peppers (George Hamilton, Rutgers Univ.). This research project targets the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) in peppers by developing methods to assess injury, evaluating different cultivars’ susceptibility to damage, exploring the use of natural enemies, and determining the toxicity and efficacy of insecticides for BMSB control. Project leaders expect that their work will reduce both illegal use of insecticides and BMSB damage to peppers.
  • Identification of Factors Associated with Onion Bacterial Diseases to Facilitate the Development of an IPM Program (Beth Gugino, Penn State). Bacterial bulb decay has become increasingly important in onion crops over the past decade, with annual losses reaching 40% on some Pennsylvania and New York farms. This research project examines the relationship between onion crop losses and factors such as the presence of inoculum in soil, high levels of nitrogen fertilization, thrips-induced injury, and wind-induced injury. Project leaders will draw on their findings to provide IPM recommendations that reduce the likelihood of severe losses.
  • Training the Trainers: Expanding the Use of Seed Heat Treatment for Management of Bacterial Diseases of Tomato and Other Vegetable Crops in the Mid-Atlantic and Surrounding Region (Kris Holmstrom and Andy Wyenandt, Rutgers Univ.). This extension project aims to educate and train vegetable growers, extension personnel, and seed professionals about the procedures and benefits of using hot water seed treatment for managing bacterial diseases. Project leaders will emphasize preventative practices that help growers accomplish IPM independently, which will be especially beneficial for small farm operations, organic farming systems, and highly diversified farms.
  • Scale Management in Christmas Trees (Richard Cowles, Connecticut Ag Experiment Station; Mark Vodak, Rutgers Univ.). To combat armored scales on Christmas tree plantations, growers use foliar sprays that can be toxic to beneficial organisms. This project aims to transform scale management with three tools: a reduced-risk insecticide applied to selectively kill scales; biological controls using several fungi that infect scales; and cultural controls that reduce the rate of scale growth. A web guide will provide growers with information on these new techniques, which are less expensive, more effective, and less toxic to the applicator and to the environment.

Learn more about these projects by searching the Northeastern IPM Center's funded project database.

— by ELIZABETH MYERS


The Northeastern IPM Center promotes integrated pest management for reducing risks to human health and the environment. If republishing our news, please acknowledge the source ("From Northeast IPM Insights") along with a link to our website.