Abstract: Western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), is an important pest of vegetable crops worldwide andhas developed resistance to many insecticides. The predatory mites Neoseiulus (=Amblyseius) cucumeris (Oudemans), the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.), and an insecticide (imidacloprid) were tested for their efficacy to reduce WFT population density and damage to French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) pods under field conditions in two planting periods. Metarhizium anisopliae was applied as a foliar spray weekly at a rate of one litre spray volume per plot while imidacloprid was applied as a soil drench every two weeks at a rate of two litres of a mixture of water and imidacloprid per m2. Neoseiulus cucumeris was released every two weeks on plant foliage at a rate of three mites per plant. Single and combined treatment applications reduced WFT population density by at least three times and WFT damage to French bean pods by at least 1.7 times compared with untreated plots. The benefit-cost ratios in management of WFT were profitable with highest returns realized on imidacloprid treated plots. The results indicate that M. anisopliae, N. cucumeris, and imidacloprid have the potential for use in developing an integrated pest management program against WFT on French beans.
Abstract: Control of aedinemosquito vectors, either by mosquito population reduction or replacement with refractory mosquitoes, may play an essential role in the fight against arboviral diseases. In this review, we will focus on the development and application of biological approaches, both natural or engineered, to limit mosquito vector competence for arboviruses. The study of mosquito antiviral immunity has led to the identification of a number of host response mechanisms and proteins that are required to control arbovirus replication in mosquitoes, though more factors influencing vector competence are likely to be discovered. We will discuss key aspects of these pathways as targets either for selection of naturally resistant mosquito populations or for mosquito genetic manipulation. Moreover, we will consider the use of endosymbiotic bacteria such as Wolbachia, which in some cases have proven to be remarkably efficient in disrupting arbovirus transmission by mosquitoes, but also the use of naturally occurring insect-specific viruses that may interfere with arboviruses in mosquito vectors. Finally, we will discuss the use of paratransgenesis as well as entomopathogenic fungi, which are also proposed strategies to control vector competence.
Abstract: Dalotia coriaria (Kraatz) (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) and entomopathogenic nematodes (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae) are two soil-dwelling biological control agents used to manage western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and fungus gnats Bradysis spp. (Diptera: Sciaridae) in glasshouses. Growers often use multiple natural enemies to achieve economic control, but knowledge of interactions among natural enemies is lacking. We conducted a laboratory bioassay to test the pathogenicity of four commercially available nematode species—Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar (Rhabditida: Heterorhbditidae), Steinernema carpocapsae (Weiser) (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), S. feltiae (Filipjev), and S. riobrave Cabanillas et al.—to third instar and adult D. coriaria. Third instars were three times more susceptible than the adults to the entomopathogenic nematodes. Mortality for D. coriaria adults and third instars treated with S. feltiae and H. bacteriophora was lower than the mortality for D. coriaria adults and third instars treated with S. carpocapsae and S. riobrave. Neither infective juvenile foraging behavior nor size correlates with D. coriaria mortality. Dalotia coriaria appears to be most likely compatible with applications of S. feltiae and H. bacteriophora.
Abstract: Entomopathogenic fungi can regulate insect populations. They have extracellular enzymes that degrade cuticle components, mainly hydrocarbons, used as an energy source. The increase in insecticidal activity of fungi in a medium supplemented with cuticular hydrocarbons was assayed and the hydrolytic enzyme profiles of two strains of Purpureocillium lilacinum were evaluated. A spore suspension of P. lilacinum was inoculated in Petri plates with different values (0.99–0.97–0.95) of water activity (Aw) using the substrates gelatin, starch and tween-20. Growth rate on the different substrates and the enzymatic activity index for proteases, amylases and lipases at different incubation times, pH and Aw, was evaluated. Moreover, the insecticidal efficiency of strains grown in media supplemented with n-hexadecane and n-octacosane was analyzed. LT50 was calculated against adults of Tribolium confusum and showed that mortality increased about 15% when the strains grew in amended culture medium. High amylolytic activity was detected, but proteases were the main enzymes produced. Optimal protease production was observed in a range of acid and alkaline pH and lower Aw. The greatest growth rate was obtained in presence of gelatin. Lipase and amylase production was detected in small amounts. Fungal growth in media with hydrocarbon mixtures increased the pathogenicity of the two strains of P. lilacinum, with the strain JQ926223 being more virulent. The information obtained is important for achieving both an increase in insecticidal capacity and an understanding of physiological adaptation of the fungus.
Abstract: Three insecticide mixtures that contain two classes of insecticides (pyrethroid and neonicotinoid) were recently developed to control bed bugs. We evaluated three integrated bed bug management strategies in apartments, each using the same non-chemical control methods and one of the three insecticide mixture products: Tandem (lambda-cyhalothrin + thiamethoxam), Temprid SC (beta-cyfluthrin + imidacloprid), and Transport Mikron (bifenthrin + acetamiprid). No insecticides were applied in the Control apartments. In all apartments, we installed vinyl mattress encasements (if not already present) and applied steam to beds and other infested upholstered furniture. Insecticide sprays were applied in the three treatments. Each treatment and the Control included 8–10 occupied apartments. Re-treatment was conducted during biweekly inspections if necessary. After eight weeks, the mean (± SEM) bed bug count reduction in the Tandem, Temprid SC, Transport Mikron, and Control was 89 ± 9, 87 ± 6, 98 ± 1, and 23 ± 54%, respectively. Only Tandem and Transport Mikron treatments resulted in significantly higher population reduction than the Control at eight weeks. There were no significant differences in mean percent reduction among the three treatments (Tandem, Temprid SC, Transport Mikron) at eight weeks. Tandem spray caused significantly faster bed bug reduction than Temprid SC spray and Transport Mikron spray.
Abstract: A high reproductive potential is one reason for the rapid spread of Drosophila suzukii in Europe and in the United States. In order to identify mechanisms that mediate mating and reproduction in D. suzukii we studied the fly’s reproductive behavior, diurnal mating activity and sexual maturation. Furthermore, we studied the change of female cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) with age and conducted a preliminary investigation on the role of female-derived chemical signals in male mating behavior. Sexual behavior in D. suzukii is characterized by distinct elements of male courtship leading to female acceptance for mating. Time of day and age modulate D. suzukii mating activity. As with other drosophilids, female sexual maturity is paralleled by a quantitative increase in CHCs. Neither female CHCs nor other olfactory signals were required to induce male courtship, however, presence of those signals significantly increased male sexual behavior. With this pilot study we hope to stimulate research on the reproductive biology of D. suzukii, which is relevant for the development of pest management tools.