Navigation Links
Controlling cucumber beetles organically

FRANKFORT, KYAs the popularity of organic produce increases with consumers, growers need more options to manage pests naturally.

John D. Sedlacek and Gary R. Cline (retired) of the Land Grant Program at Kentucky State University led a research project designed to investigate options for reducing the presence of cucumber beetles. These pests damage crops by eating the roots, shoots, and flowers, and transmit the bacterial wilt pathogen. The study, published in the American Society of Horticultural Science journal HortTechnology, compares several practices in watermelon and muskmelon crops.

In 2002, watermelon was grown on black plastic mulch with the exception of one group, which was grown on Al-plastic, an aluminum coated plastic mulch previously linked to reduced cucumber beetle densities on squash. Another plot of watermelons was planted with companion plants thought to repel cucumber beetles. A third group was planted with a different set of companion plants that seem to attract insects that prey on cucumber beetles. Sticky traps stationed among the plants collected cucumber beetles, which were counted and removed on a weekly basis. The watermelon yields were not adversely affected by the Al-plastic nor by the companion plants.

More beetles were collected in the control and Al-plastic groups than the companion plant groups. Similar numbers of beetles were trapped in repellent plant groups and beneficial insect-attracting plant groups, suggesting these plants may be more valuable as a physical barrier to the beetles' movement than for their attractive or repellent properties.

In 2003, the study was replicated using muskmelons. Al-plastic was included again, but the companion plant groups were combined to include beetle-repelling radishes and predator-insect-attracting buckwheat. Other treatments included use of rowcovers and the organic insecticide PyGanic. The separate Al-plastic and companion plant groups increased muskmelon yields of 75% and 66%, respectively, compared to the control. Rowcovers also significantly increased yield. The number of trapped beetles was significantly higher in the control group than in any other.

Then, in 2004, the study was repeated, but this time the insecticide group was replaced by a combination of Al-plastic and companion plants. Muskmelon weights varied significantly among all groups, with the greatest weights coming from the Al-plastic and companion plant combined groups with rowcovers. Weights in the Al-plastic-only group were greater than in the companion plant-only group.

All of the treatments, except for the insecticide, significantly increased yields compared to control groups. It appeared that some treatments, such as companion plants, may have reduced beetle populations by affecting adults, while others, such as the Al-plastic, may have affected beetle larvae still in the soil.


Contact: Michael W. Neff
American Society for Horticultural Science

Related biology news :

1. Brain enzyme may play key role in controlling appetite and weight gain
2. bioMETRX, Inc. Signs Deal To Acquire Controlling Interest in Biometric Solutions, LLC
3. Hidden infections crucial to understanding, controlling disease outbreaks
4. Biologists identify genes controlling rhythmic plant growth
5. People with heart disease still have trouble controlling blood lipid levels
6. Controlling embryonic fate by association
7. Controlling a sea of information
8. Controlling schistosomiasis: buffalo or snails?
9. Bioclocks work by controlling chromosome coiling
10. Hot spots the key to controlling European carp in Australia
11. UT Southwestern researchers identify hundreds of genes controlling female fertility
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/10/2015)... NEW YORK , Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... refers to behavioral biometrics that helps to identify ... prevent fraud. Signature is considered as the secure ... for the identification of a particular individual because ... offers more accurate results especially when dynamic signature ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. ... interface solutions, today announced broader entry into the automotive ... solutions that match the pace of consumer electronics human ... biometric sensors are ideal for the automotive industry and ... Europe , ...
(Date:11/2/2015)... , Nov. 2, 2015  SRI International has been ... provide preclinical development services to the National Cancer Institute ... will provide scientific expertise, modern testing and support facilities, ... preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies to evaluate potential cancer ... The PREVENT Cancer Drug Development Program is an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Pittcon ... over 2,000 technical presentations offered in symposia, oral sessions, workshops, awards, and posters. ... a wide range of applications such as, but not limited to, biotechnology, biomedical, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) announced  today that its ... (Rights Plan) in an effort to preserve the value ... 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). ... its NOLs could be substantially limited if the Company ... of the Code. In general, an ownership change occurs ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS; TSX: AEZ) ... remain fundamentally strong and highlights the following developments: ... DSMB recommendation to continue the ZoptEC Phase 3 ... final interim efficacy and safety data , ... with heavily pretreated castration- and Taxane-resistant prostate cancer ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds ... organisation (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing to ... margins but higher volume share for the region ... scale, however, margins in the CRO industry will ... Market ( ), finds that the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: