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    RESEARCH:  5. Development of Pest Monitoring Techniques

The transition to selective reduced-risk insecticides will require the development of new monitoring practices for a better understanding on the seasonal population fluctuations of blueberry and cranberry insect pests and for a more precise timing of chemical applications. We are currently studying the seasonal fluctuations of thrips and leafhopper populations in blueberries and cranberries, respectively.

We are also evaluating the effects of color and height on attractiveness of thrips and leafhopper to sticky traps.

In addition, we are using Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies to better understand pest movement and distribution.

In various collaborative projects, we are working on the laboratory and field evaluations of newly identified pheromones for monitoring insect pests.

Current Collaborators

 - Tracy Leskey (USDA-ARS)
 - Aijun Zhang (USDA-ARS)
 - Hans Alborn (USDA-ARS)
 - Dan Schiffhauer (Ocean Spray)
 - Ann Averill (University of Massachusetts)
 - Peter Oudemans (Rutgers University)
 - Frank Drummond (University of Maine)
 - Shawn Steffan (University of Wisconsin)

Relevant Publications

Rodriguez-Saona, C., Polavarapu, S., Barry, J., Polk, D., Jornsten, R., Oudemans, P. and Liburd, O. 2010.  Color preference, seasonality, spatial distribution and species composition of thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in highbush blueberries. Crop Protection 29: 1331-1340.

Barry, J.D., Rodriguez-Saona, C.R., Polk, D.F., and Zhang, A. 2010. Seasonal abundance, life history, and parasitism of Caloptilia porphyretica Braun (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), a leafminer of highbush blueberry. J. Econ. Entomol. 103: 284-291.

Robbins, P.S., Nojima, S., Polavarapu, S., Koppenhöfer, A.M., Rodriguez-Saona, C., Holdcraft, R.J., Consolie, N.H., Peck, D.C., and Roelofs, W. 2009. Sex pheromone of the scarab beetle Phyllophaga (Phytalus) georgiana (Horn).  J. Chem. Ecol. 35: 336-341.

Blackmer, J.L., Byers, J.A., and Rodriguez-Saona, C. 2008. Evaluation of color traps for Lygus spp. Design, placement, height, time of day, and non-target effects. Crop Protection 27: 171-181.

Different color traps are evaluated
Different color traps are evaluated
for attractiveness of insect pests

Pheromone traps are used for monitoring blueberry and cranberry insect pest
Pheromone traps are used for
monitoring blueberry and
cranberry insect pests

I am demonstrating the use of pheromone traps to monitor cranberry insect pests