Tarnished plant bug
|Tarnished plant bug|
(Palisot de Beauvois, 1818)
The tarnished plant bug (TPB) is one of the most serious pests of small fruits and vegetables in North America. No truly effective or reliable management options currently exist. Growers routinely make 3-5 applications of insecticides each year to control this insect. The cost is $200-$500/acre. Considering the narrow profit margin for today's farmers, these costs are significant. The research being conducted at the Entomology Research Laboratory represents the first step towards developing insect-killing fungi for management of TPB.
At the University of Vermont Entomology Laboratory, several proactive steps to eliminate this pest have been taken such as:
- Rearing. A simple method for rearing large numbers of even-aged TPB is used to produce hundreds of insects for testing every week.
- Bioassay procedures. A rapid, reliable and reproducible method to test entomopathogenic fungi for pathogenicity against TPB was developed and tested.
- Pathogenicity testing. Entomopathogenic fungi from our bank of isolates and from the USDA, ARSEF collection at Cornell University have been screened against 2nd instar TPB. An immersion method is used and mortality data taken periodically.
- Greenhouse pilot testing. Plans are underway to conduct trials in a greenhouse, and small field plots, to test the efficacy of several formulated, highly pathogenic insect-killing fungi against TPB on lettuce.
- University of Vermont Entomology website
- tarnished plant bug on the University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Featured Creatures website
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