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Dealing with Arthropod Pests "Organically"


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Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Professor of Entomology …

Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Professor of Entomology
Kansas Community Garden Conference, July 8-9, 2013

This presentation will address the issue regarding what is an “organic pesticide” and the characteristics associated with them. Topics to be covered include those pesticides that may be used in the garden that are designed to be “organic,” and the advantages and disadvantages of using them.

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  • 1. Advanced Master Gardener Training September 21, 2012 Manhattan, KS Dealing With Arthropod Pests “Organically” Raymond A. Cloyd Professor, Extension Specialist in Horticultural Entomology/Integrated Pest Management Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS Phone: 785-532-4750 Email:
  • 2. • Introduction • Alternative Management Strategies • Pest Control Materials • Some Misconceptions • Conservation Biological Control • Questions and Discussion Overview of Presentation
  • 3. Most “Everyone” Wants Insect And Mite Pests Killed Quickly…No Matter What! ‘DDT Mentality’
  • 4. Today: Are People Really Interested In “Organic” Or Natural Products?
  • 5. What Do These Terms Mean?
  • 6. Definitions •  Organic: 1) containing carbon; 2) affecting the structure of an organ; and 3) produced or involving production without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc. •  Natural: 1) existing in or caused by nature; 2) uncultivated; 3) unaffected and spontaneous; and 4) likely by its or their nature to be such (natural enemies).
  • 7. “Organic” simply refers to the way a product, food or fiber is actually grown and processed. “Organic” food production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and chemical pesticides and fertilizers (Barbara Schubert; September 2012).
  • 8. I Cannot Think Of Anything More “Natural” Than This! Adam and Eve
  • 9. “Organic” Toilet Paper
  • 10. The “Power” Of Advertising
  • 11. Book: The Truth About Organic Gardening Benefits, Drawbacks, And The Bottom Line Jeff Gillman
  • 12. Plant Health: First Line of Defense When Dealing With Arthropod Pests “Organically” • Cultural: – Proper watering, fertility, mulching, and pruning. • Physical: – Pruning, tilling (killing overwintering stage), forceful water spray, hand- picking, and installing barriers.
  • 13. Don’t Overwater
  • 14. Fertility Turfgrass Trees and Shrubs
  • 15. Proper Mulching
  • 16. Improper Pruning Technique
  • 17. Some Insects Take-Offense To Being Physically Removed!
  • 18. Bagworm
  • 19. Forceful Water Spray!!
  • 20. Impact of Forceful Water Spray •  Quickly removes all life stages (e.g. eggs, nymphs, larvae, pupae, and adults) of insect and mite pests. •  Cleans plants (removes dust). •  Preserves natural enemies (e.g. parasitoids and predators). •  Prevents insect and mite pest populations from building-up: Avoids sudden outbreaks.
  • 21. Pruning Out Pest Infestation
  • 22. Barrier: Row Covers
  • 23. What Is The Best Way To “Control” This Insect Pest “Organically?”
  • 24. Is This An Example Of “Organic” Pest Control? This Is A Taste Test (Physical Control)!
  • 25. Is This Pest Control Material Considered “Organic?”
  • 26. Bottom Line • Use the least toxic method or combination of methods that will regulate or suppress pest populations without significantly disrupting the ecosystem or environment.
  • 27. Factors Associated With Maximizing Pest Control Material Effectiveness • Timing • Coverage • Frequency
  • 28. “Selective” Pest Control Materials •  Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) •  Azadirachtin (IGR) •  Neem oil •  Pyrethrins •  Rotenone* •  Spinosad •  Horticultural oils •  Diatomaceous earth (DE)
  • 29. These Materials Are Primarily Effective On The Young (Immature) Stages.
  • 30. Characteristics of “Selective” Pest Control Materials •  Short-residual activity. •  Sensitive to ultra-violet light and rainfall. •  Are active on the young stages of insect and mite pests. •  Less harmful to natural enemies (parasitoids and predators). •  Low mammalian toxicity. •  May take longer to kill target insect and mite pests.
  • 31. Bacillus thuringiensis •  Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (Dipel). •  Only active against caterpillars. •  Insects must consume the material in order to be negatively affected. •  In general, young larvae are more easily killed than older larvae. •  Susceptible to ultra-violet light (sunlight) degradation and rainfall. •  May indirectly impact natural enemies.
  • 32. Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (Dipel)
  • 33. Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (Btk) Product
  • 34. How Btk Kills Caterpillars
  • 35. Bt Types Subspecies • kurstaki • aizawai • tenebrionis • israelensis Endotoxin Specificity • Lepidoptera • Lepidoptera • Coleoptera • Diptera
  • 36. Azadirachtin •  Derived from the neem tree, Azadirachta indica. •  Multiple modes of action: insect growth regulator, antifeedant, repellent, sterilant, and oviposition inhibitor. •  Primarily active on caterpillars; more so than other insect and/or mite pests. •  Multiple applications are typically required. •  Susceptible to ultra-violet light (sunlight) degradation and rainfall. •  More effective on young stages of insect pests than eggs and adults. •  Works best under warm temperatures (>70ºF).
  • 37. Neem Seeds
  • 38. Active Ingredient=Azadirachtin
  • 39. Neem Oil •  Derived from the neem tree, Azadirachta indica. •  Active ingredient: clarified hydrophobic extract of neem oil. •  Works by suffocating (blocking breathing pores) insect and/or mite pests. •  Primarily active on soft-bodied insect and/or mite pests such as aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs, and scales. •  Contact activity only so thorough coverage of all plant parts is required. •  May directly affect natural enemies. •  Very low mammalian toxicity.
  • 40. Neem Oil Product Active Ingredient=Clarified Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil
  • 41. Neem Product Active Ingredient=Clarified Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil
  • 42. Botanical Insecticides
  • 43. Common Misconception • Natural pesticides or botanicals are always “safer” than synthetics. However, a number of registered botanicals are toxic to fish, beneficial insects and mites (natural enemies), and mammals.
  • 44. Interactions Among Host Plant, Insect or Mite Pest, and Natural Enemies
  • 45. Botanical Insecticides • Nicotine • Rotenone • Pyrethrins/Pyrethrum • Linalool • Limonene • Neem
  • 46. Product Containing Pyrethrins
  • 47. Pyrethrins- Based Product For “Organic” Production
  • 48. Pyrethrins/Pyrethrum • Derived from Tanacetum cinerariaefolium (Kenya, Africa, and Ecuador). • LD50=1,200-1,500 mg/kg. • Oldest household insecticide available. • Fast-acting: cause immediate “knockdown” of insects. • Contact and stomach poison.
  • 49. Pyrethrins/Pyrethrum •  Low mammalian toxicity. However, cats are highly susceptible to poisoning by pyrethrins. •  Degrades rapidly under sunlight, air, and moisture. No residual activity. •  Mode of action: disrupts sodium and potassium ion exchange process in insect nerves and interrupts the normal transmission of nerve impulses.
  • 50. Pyrethrins/Pyrethrum •  Requires a synergist such as PBO*. •  Avoid mixing with lime or soap solutions. •  No waiting interval required between initial application and harvest of food crops. •  Pest activity: flies, fleas, aphids, mosquitoes, whiteflies, leafhoppers, thrips, caterpillars, mealybugs, beetles, and spider mites.
  • 51. Rotenone
  • 52. Rotenone •  Derived from Lonchocarpus sp., or Derris sp. (East Indies, Malaya, and South America). •  LD50=350 mg/kg. •  Extremely toxic to fish. •  Very acutely toxic botanical. More toxic than carbaryl (Sevin) or malathion. •  Contact and stomach poison. •  Residual activity: 3 to 5 days. •  Slow-acting: takes time to kill pests. However, pests stop feeding immediately.
  • 53. Rotenone •  Degrades rapidly in air and sunlight. •  Not toxic to honeybees. •  Pest activity: leaf-feeding beetles (e.g., Colorado potato beetle), caterpillars, thrips, mosquitoes, aphids, spider mites, and flies. •  Mode of action: inhibits respiration by blocking the electron transport chain and prevents energy production (ATP). •  Acute exposure in rats produces brain lesions consistent with those observed in humans and animals with Parkinson’s disease.
  • 54. Botanical Insecticide Combination of Rotenone and Pyrethrins
  • 55. Nicotine
  • 56. Nicotine •  Derived from Nicotiana tabacum and N. rustica. •  LD50=50 to 60 mg/kg. •  Extremely toxic to bees. •  The most toxic botanical. More toxic than carbaryl (Sevin) or malathion. •  Active on soft-bodied insects and mites including aphids, thrips, leafhoppers, and spider mites. Many caterpillars are resistant to nicotine. •  Fast-acting nerve toxin that works as a contact poison. •  Nicotine kills insects and mites (and humans) by binding to nerve receptors. This causes uncontrolled firing in the central nervous system.
  • 57. LD50 • Concentration of a given toxicant that will kill 50 percent of the test organisms to which it is administered. Generally expressed as milligrams of toxicant (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight. • The lower the number, the more toxic/harmful the toxicant.
  • 58. Toxicity of Botanical Insecticides •  Nicotine LD50=50-60 mg/kg Danger •  Rotenone LD50=60-1,500 mg/kg Caution •  Sevin* LD50=850 mg/kg Warning/Caution •  Malathion* LD50=885-2,800 mg/kg Caution •  Ryania LD50=750-1,200 mg/kg Caution •  Pyrethrins LD50=1,200-1,500 mg/kg Caution •  Linalool LD50=2,440-3,180 mg/kg Caution •  Sabadilla LD50=4,000-5,000 mg/kg Caution •  Limonene LD50=>5,000 mg/kg Caution •  Neem LD50=13,000 mg/kg Caution
  • 59. Spinosad •  Active ingredient: Saccharopolyspora spinosa. •  Composed of spinosyns A (85%) and D (15%). •  Fast-acting, and has both contact and ingestion activity. •  Supposedly, minimal impact on beneficial insects and mites. •  Active on caterpillars, thrips, flies, and certain beetles. •  May directly or indirectly harm certain natural enemies (wet vs. dry residues).
  • 60. Spinosad Product
  • 61. Product With Spinosad As The Active Ingredient
  • 62. Horticultural Oils •  Types: Petroleum (or mineral), fish, and plant oils. •  Work by preventing normal exchange of gases or suffocating (block respiratory system) insect and/or mite pests. •  Kill egg, young (larvae or nymphs), and adult. •  Primarily active on soft-bodied insect and/or mite pests such as aphids, spider mites, scales, thrips, whiteflies, mealybugs, and psyllids. •  Minimal risk of resistance developing. •  Contact only so thorough coverage is essential; however, may be harmful to plants if applied “too often” or if applied during conditions of high humidity. •  May be directly harmful to natural enemies.
  • 63. Petroleum-Based Oil Product
  • 64. Paraffinic-Based Oil Product
  • 65. Sesame and Edible Fish Oil Product
  • 66. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) •  Composed of silicaceous skeletons of diatoms. •  Removes the cuticular waxes of insects, and absorbs oils and waxes on the outer insect cuticle. •  Desiccates insects by rupturing or abrading the insect cuticle causing extensive moisture loss. •  Insects can obtain (pick-up) particles of DE on their cuticle as they move. •  Works best when dry. •  Avoid breathing in particles.
  • 67. Product Containing Diatomaceous Earth
  • 68. Diatomaceous Earth
  • 70. Plant-Derived Essential Oils * Garlic oil * Cedar oil * Thyme oil * Canola oil * Clove oil * Geranium oil * Sesame oil * Lemongrass oil * Rosemary oil * Citronella oil * Orange oil * d-limonene * Peppermint oil * Cinnamon oil * Clarified hydrophobic extract of neem oil * Almond oil
  • 71. Plant-Derived Essential Oil Products
  • 72. Plant-Derived Essential Oils Rasta Bob’s Death Mite. Active Ingredient= Rosemary Oil (3.0%)
  • 73. * Rosemary Oil * Cinnamon Oil * Clove Oil * Garlic Extract
  • 74. What Is The Actual “Killing Agent?”
  • 75. Plant-Derived Essential Oils •  Obtained by steam distillation of plant leaves. •  Broad spectrum of insect and mite pest activity due to multiple “modes of action”: 1) anti-feedants, 2) molting and respiration inhibitors, 3) growth and fecundity reducers, 4) cuticle disruptors, and 5) act on octopamine (CNS) pathway.
  • 76. Concerns Associated With Plant-Derived Essential Oils • Efficacy: inconsistent and unreliable “control.” • Phytotoxicity: directly harmful to horticultural plants.
  • 77. Figure 1. Percent mortality of citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri Risso 3 days after application of essential oil treatments. 100.0% a 97.0% a89.0% b 74.0% c 50.0% d 47.0% d46.0% d33.0% d 29.0% de 5.0% f 0.0% f 0.0% f 0.0% 20.0% 40.0% 60.0% 80.0% 100.0% 120.0% UTC W ater G arlic Cottonseed Neem Soybean Sesam e Canola O ilCanola R TU M int/Thym e Cinnam on Lavender Treatment PercentMortality
  • 78. Treatment Phytotoxicity Symptoms Untreated (UTC) None None Water None None Canola RTU None None Canola Oil None None Cinnamon Severe Necrosis of meristems, necrotic spots on upper two sets of leaves, leaf edges brown and curling. Cottonseed Minimal Slight browning on tips of oldest (lower) leaves. Garlic None None Lavender Severe Necrosis of meristems, necrotic spots on upper two sets of leaves, slight wilting of entire plant. Mint/Thyme None None Neem None None Sesame None None Soybean None None
  • 79. Some Misconceptions Associated With Pest Control Materials And Natural Enemies •  Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (Btk) is not effective when applied to the soil. •  Beneficial nematodes have no activity against plant-parasitic nematodes. •  Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (Btk) has minimal (if any) activity on squash vine borer. •  The product for Colorado potato beetle, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis is no longer available.
  • 80. Who Was The 14th President Of The United States Of America?
  • 81. Alternative Management Strategies • Pheromones • Traps
  • 82. Pheromone Traps: How Can They Assist In Pest Management?
  • 83. Pheromone Traps May Help In Timing Applications Of Pest Control Materials Accordingly Against Wood-Boring Insects
  • 84. Pheromone Traps Exist For Certain Wood-Boring Insects Such As The Peach Tree Borer and Lesser Peach Tree Borer Isomate-Pheromone: mating disruption for peach tree borer
  • 85. Yellow Sticky Card/Trap
  • 86. Squash Vine Borer Adult Larvae
  • 87. Squash Vine Borer Management • Dispose of infested plants. • Destroy overwintering pupae by tilling garden in fall. • Split stem and remove larva. Stitch wound together with sewing thread. • Inject beneficial nematodes.
  • 88. Beneficial Nematodes
  • 89. Photo: Arnold HaraWho Is Having Spaghetti For Lunch Or Dinner?
  • 90. Conservation Biological Control
  • 91. Conservation Biological Control • A biological control practice that includes any activity designed to protect, attract, or maintain existing populations of natural enemies. • Growing plants that attract natural enemies and provide a food source such as pollen and nectar for adults.
  • 92. Not All Flowering Plant Species Contain Nectar And Pollen That Is Accessible To Natural Enemies. May Also Attract Different Types Of Natural Enemies That Vary In Impacting Herbivores.
  • 93. Not all flowers are created equal
  • 94. Plants That Attract Natural Enemies •  Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) •  Yarrow (Achillea sp.) •  Sweet Clover (Melilotus sp.) •  Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) •  Buckwheat (Fagopyrum sagittatum) •  Dill (Anethum graveolens) •  Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) •  Coneflower (Echinacea sp.) •  Coreopsis (Coreopsis sp.)
  • 95. Queen Anne’s Lace
  • 96. Providing A Food Source For Butterflies And Moths
  • 97. Scolia dubia
  • 98. Reproductive Capacity of Certain Insect and Mite Pests Impacts the Ability of Natural Enemies to Regulate Populations Aphid Twospotted Spider Mites
  • 99. I’ve Got You My Sweet!
  • 100. Thank You For Your Attention! I Hope You All Learned Something And Had Fun!
  • 101. Questions or What’s Bugging You?