Poster Title

Development of an Innovative Cucumber Beetle Monitoring Trap

Presenter Information

Christopher KositzkeFollow

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Institution

University of Kentucky

KY House District #

75

KY Senate District #

13

Department

Department of Entomology

Abstract

"The striped cucumber beetle Acalymma vittatum and spotted cucumber beetle Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi inflict over $100 million of damage on commercial cucurbit crops annually in the U.S.A. Numerous control methods have been implemented in an attempt to control these pests, but an effective, low-cost method has not been developed. Currently, many large-scale organic farms use costly organic insecticides as their primary control method. Yellow sticky traps provide farmers with a way to monitor beetle populations and efficiently apply these insecticides when beetle populations rise to the economic threshold. However, sticky traps are non-renewable and prove difficult to place without damaging the highly vascular cucurbit plants. Our primary objective was to create a reusable monitoring trap with a more accurate capture rate. Throughout the 2017 growing season we developed a modified funnel trap and deployed it at regular intervals in organic winter squash and mixed cucurbit plantings. By recording the number of beetles captured over a 24-hour period with different variations of the funnel traps, the commercial sticky traps and the live traps currently used to lure beetles for research purposes, we were able to generate a side-by-side comparison of the effectiveness of the respective trap types. The modified funnel traps outperformed all competitors by a factor of 3 or more, significantly increasing the number of beetles collected. In doing so, the modified funnel traps provided a cost-effective, reusable, durable and highly practical alternative to current trapping and monitoring methods. We conclude that this trap could allow farmers to more accurately predict beetle populations in their crops. Additionally, it could serve as an easy, effortless way to collect cucumber beetles for research purposes.

Keywords: cucumber beetles, trapping, monitoring, integrated pest management, pest control, Acalymma vittatum, Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi

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Development of an Innovative Cucumber Beetle Monitoring Trap

"The striped cucumber beetle Acalymma vittatum and spotted cucumber beetle Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi inflict over $100 million of damage on commercial cucurbit crops annually in the U.S.A. Numerous control methods have been implemented in an attempt to control these pests, but an effective, low-cost method has not been developed. Currently, many large-scale organic farms use costly organic insecticides as their primary control method. Yellow sticky traps provide farmers with a way to monitor beetle populations and efficiently apply these insecticides when beetle populations rise to the economic threshold. However, sticky traps are non-renewable and prove difficult to place without damaging the highly vascular cucurbit plants. Our primary objective was to create a reusable monitoring trap with a more accurate capture rate. Throughout the 2017 growing season we developed a modified funnel trap and deployed it at regular intervals in organic winter squash and mixed cucurbit plantings. By recording the number of beetles captured over a 24-hour period with different variations of the funnel traps, the commercial sticky traps and the live traps currently used to lure beetles for research purposes, we were able to generate a side-by-side comparison of the effectiveness of the respective trap types. The modified funnel traps outperformed all competitors by a factor of 3 or more, significantly increasing the number of beetles collected. In doing so, the modified funnel traps provided a cost-effective, reusable, durable and highly practical alternative to current trapping and monitoring methods. We conclude that this trap could allow farmers to more accurately predict beetle populations in their crops. Additionally, it could serve as an easy, effortless way to collect cucumber beetles for research purposes.

Keywords: cucumber beetles, trapping, monitoring, integrated pest management, pest control, Acalymma vittatum, Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi