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Insect Management for the Organic Producer Insect Management for the Organic Producer Eric J. Rebek Associate Professor and State Extension Specialist.

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Presentation on theme: "Insect Management for the Organic Producer Insect Management for the Organic Producer Eric J. Rebek Associate Professor and State Extension Specialist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Insect Management for the Organic Producer Insect Management for the Organic Producer Eric J. Rebek Associate Professor and State Extension Specialist Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology Oklahoma State

2 Organic Options for Pest Management 4 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategies 1.Cultural control 2.Biological control 3.Physical/Mechanical control 4.Regulatory (legal) control 5.Chemical control (OMRI approved)

3 1. Cultural Control 4 Prevention: avoiding pest problems by modifying growing practices –Crop rotation to break pest cycle –Insect (and disease) resistance/tolerance –Polyculture –Trap crops –Sanitation

4 Crop Rotation YEAR 1YEAR 2

5 Crop Rotation 4 Corn rootworm (Diabrotica spp.) – eggs in soil –Avoid corn following corn –Note: Populations of Western corn rootworm and northern corn rootworms have adapted to corn-soybean rotations 4 Wireworms – larvae in soil –Avoid highly susceptible crops (e.g., root crops, corn, melons) following grassy sod or small grains –Note: some species remain as larvae for 3-6 years

6 Crop Rotation 4 White grubs (Phyllophaga spp.) – larvae in soil –Avoid corn, potatoes, strawberries following grassy sod –Note: some species remain as larvae for 2-3 years 4 Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) – adults in soil –Avoid repeated plantings of tomatoes, potatoes, or eggplant –Note: great distances and barriers to movement may be needed for adequate control

7 Insect Resistance/Tolerance 4 Insect-resistant crop varieties –Bt corn Transgenic resistance to caterpillars (e.g., corn earworm) –Glandular-haired alfalfa “Hairy” stems of certain alfalfa varieties inhibit potato leafhopper

8 Polyculture 4 Intercropping, cover crops, etc. 4 Crop diversification can: –Reduce attractiveness of crops to pests that specialize on certain crops Plant Apparency Hypothesis –Increase abundance and diversity of natural enemies that feed on pests Natural Enemies Hypothesis


10 Trap Crops 4 Non-crop plants more attractive to pests than cash crop 4 Interplanted within crop or around perimeter of crop

11 Trap Crops 4 Sorghum and sunflower – leaf-footed bugs in southern tomatoes 4 Mustard – harlequin bugs in collards and other cole crops

12 Trap Crops 4 Wide variety of species – stink bugs in many cash crops 4 Hubbard squashes – cucumber beetle in cash crop squashes

13 Sanitation 4 Crop debris serves as harborage for pest insects 4 Remove and destroy debris 4 Burial, soil incorporation

14 2. Biological Control The 3 P’s: Predators, Parasites, Pathogens

15 P R E D A T O R S

16 Predators Predators: larger than their prey, eat many prey, fast moving, generalist eaters



19 Oklahoma State UniversityTulsa County Master Gardeners

20 P A R A S I T O I D S

21 Parasites (Parasitoids) Parasitoids: smaller than prey, kill only one host, larvae are sedentary, many are specialists Parasitic wasps Parasitic flies



24 P A T H O G E N S

25 Pathogens (Microbial Control) 4 Fungi –e.g., Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium spp. 4 Bacteria –e.g., Bacillus thuringiensis 4 Nematodes –e.g., Steinernema spp., Heterorhabditis spp. 4 Protozoa –e.g,. Nosema locustae


27 Beauveria sp. Hymenostilbe sp. Gibellula sp. Erynia sp. Leafhopper Spider Cockroach Beetle Katydid Leafhopper

28 Biological Control (3 kinds) 4 Classical (Importation) –Reunite old enemies; introduce natural enemies from pest’s geographic origin 4 Augmentation –Add what you need; supplemental release 4 Conservation –Conserve naturally occurring natural enemies

29 Conservation Biological Control 4 Two main strategies: –Modify pesticide use to reduce exposure to natural enemies –Modify habitat in favor of natural enemy survival, longevity, and reproduction 4 Attract and retain naturally occurring predators and parasitoids in the crop –E-1023: Conserving beneficial arthropods in residential landscapes

30 How to Conserve the Good Bugs 4 Reduce amount/frequency of pesticide use 4 Apply when beneficials are not active 4 Use selective products (e.g., Bt for caterpillar pests) 4 Apply “sweet water” to attract natural enemies 4 Use plants that help feed or shelter beneficials

31 Beneficial Flowering Plants TansyGoldenrod ConeflowerCoreopsis SunflowerCosmos CarawayMustards DillMilkweed FennelBuckwheat YarrowSweet Clover Wild ParsnipAlfalfa Fava BeanHairy Vetch

32 3. Physical/Mechanical Control 4 Three main methods: –Barriers (exclusion) –Behavior modification –Destruction or killing

33 Exclusion 4 Floating row covers and screens – cabbage maggot, flea beetles, cabbageworms 4 Adhesives and burlap – caterpillar pests and aphid-tending ants 4 Trenches – Colorado potato beetle (only those crawling, not flying)



36 Behavior Modification 4 Two general methods: –“Push-Pull” technology –Mating disruption

37 Push-Pull Technology 4 Repel (push) or attract (pull) insect pest away from crop 4 Use pheromones or other lures as baits 4 Trap crops can be considered a push-pull strategy 4 Visual attractants

38 Mating Disruption 4 Grape Berry Moth (Mid May): –Place 250 to 400 Isomate-GBM ropes/A (use 400/A in high-risk vineyards) –Prevents mating for 90 days in warm southern states –Not generally recommended in OK because of small size of vineyards (< 5 acres)

39 Killing 4 Crushing 4 Traps 4 Temperature 4 Suction

40 Killing 4 Crushing – squash bug eggs on foliage 4 Traps – boards placed between rows for squash bug nymphs and adults

41 Killing 4 Propane torches (flaming), hot-water immersion, steaming, solar heating – wide variety of insect pests 4 Suction – Colorado potato beetle, lygus bug –Care must be taken to not harm natural enemies

42 Additional Resources 4 Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers – (Info on Biological Control) 4 National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service (ATTRA) – 4 Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) – 4 IPM Oklahoma! – (Info on IPM)

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