New IPM Research and Extension Projects, 2010

Scientists confront pest threats to children, honey bees, and crops

The Northeast Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program funds research, extension, and education projects that help to solve pest problems while reducing risks to human health and the environment. In 2010, the program awarded approximately $580,000 to support seven projects:

Sustainable Management of the Small Hive Beetle, an Emerging Pest of Honey Bees (D. Gruner, Univ. of Maryland). This joint research-extension project aims to provide a sustainable strategy for controlling the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida), an invasive pest that infests honey bee colonies and carries pathogens that may contribute to colony collapse disorder. Project leaders will develop, evaluate and demonstrate new tactics for disrupting the pest's life cycle by integrating traps, biorational organic-compatible pesticides, and biological control with insect-pathogenic nematodes.

Building IPM Capacity in Childcare and Early Educational Environments (L. Garling and E. Rajotte, Pennsylvania State Univ.). This extension project aims to reduce risks to young children by increasing the use of IPM in early educational settings. Project leaders will develop innovative, targeted IPM programming for childcare professionals, facilities managers, pest management professionals, and extension educators to foster partnerships among these groups and reach new audiences.

Decision Support System for Tomato and Potato Late Blight (W. Fry, Cornell Univ.). The goal of this research is to help growers use fungicides more efficiently to manage late blight in both potato and tomato production. Project leaders will expand and improve a web-based, interactive Decision Support System to help growers identify high-risk conditions, select fungicides with lower environmental impact, and improve the timing of applications.

Development of a Baculovirus for Winter Moth IPM (J. Elkinton, Univ. of Massachusetts). This project will explore whether a naturally occurring biopesticide can help to control winter moth (Operophtera brumata), an invasive pest that damages northeastern apple and blueberry crops. Researchers will test the use of a pest-specific virus that could augment the effectiveness of the winter moth's natural enemies and thus control this pest without harming beneficial insects like honey bees.

Habitat and Resource Management to Enhance Biological Control in Greenhouses (J. Nyrop, Cornell Univ.). The goal of this project is to improve the effectiveness of biological control for western flower thrips, a damaging greenhouse pest that is vulnerable to a mite predator called Amblysieus swirskii. By artificially creating conditions that will help the mite thrive on plants that need its protection, project leaders hope to set the stage for commercial-scale trials of a safe, sustainable approach to thrips control.

Improved Timing of Control for the Grape Berry Moth, Using a Degree-Day Model (M. Saunders, Pennsylvania State Univ.). The grape berry moth (Paralobesia viteana) is the most destructive direct pest of grapes, and recent late-season infestations have caused numerous loads to be rejected at juice processing plants. Leaders of this project aim to update predictive models that would help growers improve the timing of insecticide applications and enable the effective use of low risk compounds for controlling this pest.

A Trap Crop System for Managing Tarnished Plant Bug Damage in Northeast Strawberries (G. Loeb, Cornell Univ.). This project will assess whether spring-flowering canola (Brassica napus) can be an effective trap crop for intercepting overwintered adult tarnished plant bugs before they become established in strawberry crops. Project leaders will use small-plot trials on research farms to quantify reductions in crop damage, followed by farm trials to assess the commercial feasibility of the technique.

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


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.