Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Open-access article on Mexican bean beetles offers control tips

03.02.2016

The Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis) has flown under the research radar too long, despite the fact that it has been ravaging U.S. crops for almost a century, according to Louis Nottingham, lead author of a newly published article in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management. The article shines a light on the Mexican bean beetle and describes possible management strategies, including so-called "cultural methods" that can control this pest without insecticides.

"If you look through the literature on this pest, there are probably only 10 or so articles in the past 20 years, and nothing in terms of a profile-type article since the 1930s," said Nottingham, a PhD student and graduate research assistant in the lab of Professor Tom Kuhar at Virginia Tech. "It was time to bring more attention to this beetle that is so significant in our growers' lives."


This is a Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis) adult with eggs.

Credit: Entomological Society of America

A type of lady beetle originally known from high elevations of western Mexico and Central America, the Mexican bean beetle showed up in the western United States in the late 1800s in connection with the spreading cultivation of beans. The beetle favors wax beans and green snap beans in the genus Phaseolus. It will, however, eat all types of legumes, including alfalfa, and as settlers began transporting that forage plant to the East Coast as animal feed, they brought the beetles along.

After reviewing the available literature on the beetles, the researchers may have discovered a behavioral trait that can be used against them.

"If you look back in the literature, you'll see that if you shine a light on different sides of a bean plant, the beetles always abscond to the other side. That also explains why you find every life stage -- eggs, larvae, pupae, and even the adults -- almost always on the shaded side of the leaves," Nottingham said.

After some thought about how they could manipulate light conditions, they decided to try metalized plastic mulch, which looks much like a sheet of aluminum foil with black backing. When placed on the soil around the plants, the mulch reflects light onto the bottoms of bean-plant leaves.

They contrasted small outdoor bean plots using the reflective mulch, black plastic sheeting, or plain soil, and observed beetle numbers, plant damage, and plant growth. Farm-scale research on the effect of reflective mulch remains to be conducted, but it looks good so far.

"We found significantly less of every life stage on plants in our plots with reflective mulch vs. black plastic and bare ground," Nottingham said. "And the plants grew way better and had far less plant injury."

Other options include mechanical removal, row covers, and the use of parasitoids.

###

The full article, "Natural History, Ecology, and Management of the Mexican Bean Beetle (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in the United States," is available for free at http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jipm/pmv023.

The Journal of Integrated Pest Management is published by the Entomological Society of America, the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has nearly 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students, and hobbyists. For more information, visit http://www.entsoc.org.

Media Contact

Richard Levine
rlevine@entsoc.org
301-731-4535

 @EntsocAmerica

http://www.entsoc.org

Richard Levine | EurekAlert!

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New drug reduces transplant and mortality rates significantly in patients with hepatitis C

29.05.2017 | Statistics

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>