Page 22 - Griffin Gazette Issue 1 - 2018
P. 22

By Rick Yates, GGSPro Technical Services Manager
           Foliar assault                                                          Are you looking for that game-
                                                                                   stopping, winner-take-all word
                                                                                   for your  next Scrabble game?
                                                                                   I have a suggestion for you:
           or ground                                                               Entomopathogenic.  I  must
                                                                                   admit, though, that I haven’t
                                                                                   checked to see if the Scrabble
                                                                                   board has enough spaces to
                                                                                   hold it.
           attack?                                               insects by releasing a bacteria that’s harmless to the
                                                                                   Entomopathogenic nematodes
                                                                                   cause the death of certain

                                                                 nematode but deadly to the insect. Steinernema feltiae
                                                                 is an example of such a nematode that’s been used
                                                                 with good success against fungus gnat larvae for many
                                                                 years.  More  recently,  this  nematode  has  been  used
                                                                 to combat Western flower thrips with varying degrees
                                                                 of success.
                                                                 This article attempts to describe the use patterns
                                                                 most likely to succeed versus thrips, as well as
                                                                 application techniques and strategies that maximize
                                                                 nematode effectiveness.
                                                                 How to plan the
                                                                 perfect ambush
                                                                 Anecdotally, some growers
                                                                 have reported success
                                                                 with  foliar  applications
                                                                 of nematodes to control
                                                                 thrips. This has left more
                                                                 than  one   entomologist
                                                                 scratching their head, since   Thrips pupae,
                                                                 research indicates that   Photo credit: D.K.B. Cheung
                                                                 mortality rates from this
                                                                 type  of  application  are  generally  low.  S.  feltiae  is  as
                                   Thrips feeding damage on calibrachoa  much an ambush nematode, (lying in wait to pounce on
                                                                 its prey), as it is a forager. Chasing down fast-moving
                                                                 thrips in a puddle of water on the foliage of plants would
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