Abstract: Two-choice tests were conducted to examine the effect of surface roughness on the resting preference of bed bugs, Cimex lectularius L., on copper, basswood, and acrylic materials. The influence of pyrethroid formulation applications on resting preferences was also evaluated. Bed bugs were given the choice of resting between two sanded halves of each material tested. One half was sanded with a P60 grit sandpaper and the other with a less rough P600 grit sandpaper. A significantly higher proportion of bed bugs chose to rest on the rougher P60 grit sanded half of all materials tested. Pyrethroid applications were made to either the P60 grit half or both halves of acrylic arenas and resting preferences were again assessed. Behavioral responses of bed bugs to pyrethroid formulation applications varied depending on the bed bug strain used and the formulation applied. Bed bugs would still rest on the P60 grit half when Suspend SC formulation (0.06% deltamethrin) was applied; however, an avoidance response was observed from a bed bug strain susceptible to D-Force aerosol formulations (0.06% deltamethrin). The avoidance behavior is likely attributed to one, more than one, or even an interaction of multiple spray constituents and not the active ingredient.
Abstract: Our greenhouse tomatoes have suffered from attacks by viruliferous whiteflies Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) over the last 10 years. The fundamental countermeasure was the application of an electric field screen to the greenhouse windows to prevent their entry. However, while the protection was effective, it was incomplete, because of the lack of a guard at the greenhouse entrance area; in fact, the pests entered from the entrance door when workers entered and exited. To address this, we developed a portable electrostatic insect sweeper as a supplementary technique to the screen. In this sweeper, eight insulated conductor wires (ICWs) were arranged at constant intervals along a polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe and covered with a cylindrical stainless net. The ICWs and metal net were linked to a DC voltage generator (operated by 3-V alkaline batteries) inside the grip and oppositely electrified to generate an electric field between them. Whiteflies on the plants were attracted to the sweeper that was gently slid along the leaves. This apparatus was easy to operate on-site in a greenhouse and enabled capture of the whiteflies detected during the routine care of the tomato plants. Using this apparatus, we caught all whiteflies that invaded the non-guarded entrance door and minimized the appearance and spread of the viral disease in tomato plants in the greenhouse.
Abstract: The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a major pest of economically important crops worldwide. Both the United Kingdom (UK) and Finland hold Protected Zone status against this invasive pest. As a result B. tabaci entering these countries on plants and plant produce is subjected to a policy of eradication. The impact of B. tabaci entering, and becoming established, is that it is an effective vector of many plant viruses that are not currently found in the protected zones. The Mediterranean species is the most commonly intercepted species of B. tabaci entering both the UK and Finland. The implications of maintaining Protected Zone status are discussed.
Abstract: Theoretical arguments suggest that increased plant productivity may not only increase consumer densities but also their fluctuations. While increased consumer densities are commonly observed in fertilization experiments, experiments are seldom performed at a spatial and temporal scale where effects on population fluctuations may be observed. In this study we used a natural gradient in soil fertility caused by cormorant nesting. Cormorants feed on fish but defecate on their nesting islands. On these islands we studied soil nutrient availability, plant nutrient content and the density of Galerucella beetles, main herbivores feeding on Lythrum salicaria. In a common garden experiment, we followed larval development on fertilized plants and estimated larval stoichiometry. Soil nutrient availability varied among islands, and several cormorant islands had very high N and P soil content. Plant nutrient content, however, did not vary among islands, and there was no correlation between soil and plant nutrient contents. Beetle densities increased with plant nutrient content in the field study. However, there was either no effect on temporal fluctuations in beetle density or that temporal fluctuations decreased (at high P). In the common garden experiment, we found limited responses in either larval survival or pupal weights to fertilization. A possible mechanism for the limited effect of fertilization on density fluctuations may be that the distribution of L. salicaria on nesting islands was restricted to sites with a lower N and P content, presumably because high N loads are toxic.
Abstract: The involvement of associative learning cues has been demonstrated in several stages of feeding and food selection. Short neuropeptide F (sNPF), an insect neuropeptide whose effects on feeding behavior have previously been well established, may be one of the factors bridging feeding and learning behavior. Recently, it was shown in Drosophila melanogaster that the targeted reduction of Drome-sNPF transcript levels significantly reduced sugar-rewarded olfactory memory. While Drosophila mainly relies on olfactory perception in its food searching behavior, locust foraging behavior is likely to be more visually orientated. Furthermore, a feeding-dependent regulation of Schgr-sNPF transcript levels has previously been observed in the optic lobes of the locust brain, suggesting a possible involvement in visual perception of food and visual associative memory in this insect species. In this study, we describe the development of a robust and reproducible assay allowing visual associative memory to be studied in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Furthermore, we performed an exploratory series of experiments, studying the role of Schgr-sNPF in this complex process.
Abstract: Indonesia’s 11-year (1989–1999) National Integrated Pest Management Program was a spectacularly successful example of wide-scale adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) principles and practice in a developing country. This program introduced the innovative Farmer Field School model of agro-ecosystem-based experiential learning, subsequently adapted to different crops and agricultural systems in countries throughout the world. Since the termination of the program in 1999, Indonesia has undergone profound changes as the country enters a new era of democratic reform. Government support for the national IPM program has wavered during this period, and pesticide producers and traders have taken advantage of the policy vacuum to mount an aggressive marketing campaign in the countryside. These factors have contributed to a reappearance of the pesticide-induced resurgent pest problems that led to the establishment of the National IPM Program in the first place.