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Control of Loopers and Cutworms through Bait and Kill Technique

Project Period:

2004-06-01 - 2006-05-31

Principal Investigator:

Richard Zack, Department of Entomology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6382. Ph. 509-335-3394. zach@wesu.edu

Description
Armyworms, loopers, cutworms, and fruitworms regularly damage numerous crops in the western U.S. and require applications of pesticides over very large acreages. The pesticides used to control these insects are problematic, both because of the Food Quality Protection Act and environmental and worker safety issues. Bait and kill systems are an alternative option to manage these insects. This project will develop chemical lures for pestiferous male and female moths based on floral, feeding attractants. Attractants have been found for several moths including alfalfa looper and corn earworm. Preliminary results indicate that these floral lures work as well as or better than currently available pheromone blends. Currently, only male-attracting pheromone lures are available for pestiferous moths. Female attracting lures should be more effective in controlling pest populations because the removal of female moths will reduce the number of eggs laid with fewer larvae in subsequent generations. The cooperators will incorporate these lures into a bait and kill technology where moths are attracted to a feeding station and treated with an appropriate insecticide. Field studies will be conducted in alfalfa and corn. If successful, the application of this technology could have a significant effect on the management of pestiferous moths in a variety of crops and situations

Outcomes
Outcome: Bait and kill systems tested commercially on 25 percent of the sweet corn acreage in the Columbia Basin of Washington and north central Oregon within four years (10-30 farmers by 2006) and adopted in 76-80 percent of sweet corn within 10 years.
Progress: No report due at this time

American Farmland Trust