Kentucky State University

Poster Title

Impact of Benallure® Beneficial Insect Attractant on Populations of Predatory Insects in Sweet Corn

Institution

Kentucky State University

Abstract

Sweet corn is among the major vegetables grown in Kentucky during summer months. Unfortunately, several insect pest species cause damage to sweet corn ears. These pests have been controlled primarily with chemical spray programs. However, excessive spraying may negatively impact non target organisms, contaminate ground water, and farmers, consumers, and homeowners may be exposed to unacceptable levels of insecticides. An alternative method of pest control involves beneficial insect introduction or biological control. Sometimes attractants are used to lure predaceous insects to prey upon pest insects. A commercially available attractant called Benallure® is claimed to be attractive to lady beetles, green lacewings, and syrphid flies. Benallure is composed of two corn plant volatiles that have been shown to be attractive to these insects in laboratory studies. However, no field studies have yet been performed examining efficacy of Benallure in the field. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of Benallure as a predaceous insect attractant in organically grown sweet corn. Yellow sticky traps were used to quantify beneficial insects in Benallure and control plots. Pink or 12 Spotted Lady Beetle, Coleomegilla maculata, was the most abundant predator caught. Asian multicolored Lady Beetles, Harmonia axyridis, and Green Lacewings, Crysoperla carnea, were captured but were not abundant. Few syrphid flies were caught. Populations of lady beetles and lace wings in control vs. Benallure treated plots did not differ. Thus, this rather expensive beneficial insect attractant could not be recommended for use in late planted central Kentucky sweet corn.

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Impact of Benallure® Beneficial Insect Attractant on Populations of Predatory Insects in Sweet Corn

Sweet corn is among the major vegetables grown in Kentucky during summer months. Unfortunately, several insect pest species cause damage to sweet corn ears. These pests have been controlled primarily with chemical spray programs. However, excessive spraying may negatively impact non target organisms, contaminate ground water, and farmers, consumers, and homeowners may be exposed to unacceptable levels of insecticides. An alternative method of pest control involves beneficial insect introduction or biological control. Sometimes attractants are used to lure predaceous insects to prey upon pest insects. A commercially available attractant called Benallure® is claimed to be attractive to lady beetles, green lacewings, and syrphid flies. Benallure is composed of two corn plant volatiles that have been shown to be attractive to these insects in laboratory studies. However, no field studies have yet been performed examining efficacy of Benallure in the field. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of Benallure as a predaceous insect attractant in organically grown sweet corn. Yellow sticky traps were used to quantify beneficial insects in Benallure and control plots. Pink or 12 Spotted Lady Beetle, Coleomegilla maculata, was the most abundant predator caught. Asian multicolored Lady Beetles, Harmonia axyridis, and Green Lacewings, Crysoperla carnea, were captured but were not abundant. Few syrphid flies were caught. Populations of lady beetles and lace wings in control vs. Benallure treated plots did not differ. Thus, this rather expensive beneficial insect attractant could not be recommended for use in late planted central Kentucky sweet corn.