Pests and Progress Webinars

Pests and Progress Webinar banner

Check out these monthly webinars to keep up with the latest research related to integrated pest management (IPM). Webinars will be held virtually the third Wednesday of each month at 1:30 pm Eastern/12:30 pm Central time and will be delivered via Zoom. Click the "Register" below each presentation to sign up.


Wednesday, May 19

Speaker: Gary Brewer, Professor of Insect Pest Management


Title: A Push-Pull Strategy to Manage Stable Flies


Wednesday, April 21

Dr. Rufus IsaacsSpeaker: Rufus Isaacs, Professor and Extension Specialist

Organization: Michigan State University

Title: When invasive pests disrupt IPM - responding to gall wasp outreak in highbush blueberries

Abstract: The western region of Michigan is a prime location for production of highbush blueberries, with over 22,000 acres of this crop being produced for the fresh, frozen, and processed food markets. Due to the market expectation for perfect fruit, growers employ intensive IPM programs to prevent economic loss from insects, with primary focus on those that directly reduce yields and contaminate harvested fruit. High quality blueberries are achieved through a combination of cultural controls, monitoring, biological control, and insecticides. Implementation of blueberry IPM programs focused on blueberry maggot, fruitworms, and Japanese beetle led to a significant reduction in insecticide use during the early part of this century, but arrival of spotted-wing Drosophila caused a disruption of established IPM programs with many unintended consequences. This presentation will discuss some of those changes that happened to berry IPM programs over the last decade, and how research, extension, and grower communities have responded. As an example, I will highlight our work to address blueberry stem gall wasp, a native insect that has become more abundant over the past decade and the multi-disciplinary team that has been seeking solutions to this pest.

Biography: Dr. Isaacs is a Professor and Extension Specialist at Michigan State University where he leads the Berry Crops Entomology laboratory in the Department of Entomology (College of Agriculture & Natural Resources). His research and extension program develops information on how to manage insects that influence berry farms and vineyards. Michigan is a major producer of berry crops and grapes and the entomological issues that affect these industries have been addressed by Dr. Isaacs and his team for the past two decades, with a focus on insect pest management and pollinator management to support farm profitability. In recent years, they have focused on blueberry stem gall wasp and spotted wing Drosophila to identify the most effective chemical controls, and to explore biological and cultural controls.


Wednesday, March 17

Rob MorrisonSpeaker: Rob Morrison, Research Entomologist

Organization:  USDA-ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research

Title: Diversifying IPM after harvest: The promise of implementing insecticide netting to protect stored product

Abstract: Globally, $100 billion USD in postharvest commodities are lost due to insect feeding and damage. Control of these insects has historically relied on fumigation, but there are increasing regulatory, consumer, and biological constraints on the use of fumigants. As a result, there has been a push to diversify integrated pest management (IPM) after harvest. In our project, we have quickly assessed and supported adoption of long-lasting insecticide-incorporated netting (LLIN) in stored product IPM programs. We have found that exposure to deltamethrin netting results in a 2–3-fold reduction in movement and 95–100% reduction in dispersal after contact by multiple species and life stages of stored product insects compared to controls. Moreover, we have found that direct mortality ranged from 73–98% for 5 of 8 stored product species after brief 5-minute exposures to the insecticide netting. Further, deployment of insecticide netting via one of three methods in pilot-scale warehouses resulted in a 93% reduction in infestation and 99% fewer progreny produced in commodities after releasing thousands of insects compared to control warehouses containing netting with no insecticide. We found the netting can be successfully incorporated into an attract-and-kill trap to intercept stored product insects on the perimeter of facilities. Importantly, we found that multiple brief exposures to the net result in the same effects on stored product insects as longer, continuous exposures. We have worked with the producer of LLIN label it for use in postharvest settings in the US. Finally, there has been robust interest by stakeholders in adopting netting at food facilities across the Great Plains. Taken together, our project has successfully demonstrated the ability for insecticide netting to act as an effective novel tactic, while diversifying IPM programs at food facilities across the US to protect our commodities as they make their way to the end consumer.  

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