Improving integrated pest management in strawberry


SF 156 - Improving integrated pest management in strawberry

Start Date: 
Completion Date: 
Project Leader: 
Michelle Fountain, NIAB EMR
SF 156

Industry representative: Marion Regan, Hugh Lowe Farms

AHDB Horticulture Cost: £866,764.00

Summary: This project will address the main pest problems reported by the UK strawberry industry, except for spotted wing drosophila (SWD), which is covered in other projects. The major target will be western flower thrips (WFT) which is now resistant to insecticides so that control must rely on non-pesticide methods of control. More accurate monitoring methods for WFT for use by growers will be developed, and biological approaches to control of WFT with predatory mites and entomopathogenic fungi will be optimised. Programmes to minimise the effect of insecticides used against other pests such as SWD on these biocontrol agents will be developed, and the possibility of using pesticide-resistant predatory mites will be investigated. Non-pesticidal methods based on trapping will be developed for sporadic pests such as capsid bugs and strawberry blossom weevil. Insecticide use against more persistent pests, such as, potato aphids will be rationalised to be more compatible with IPM approaches. The programme builds on previous research by members of the consortium who are the leading UK scientists working on these approaches. On-going communications with the industry with timely and rapid dissemination of successful approaches will ensure the project has a high chance of transforming pest control on strawberry in the UK.

Aim and Objectives:


To increase the efficacy of existing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) measures and explore new and emerging controls for the most damaging strawberry pests whilst maintaining control of spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (SWD), thus enhancing the growth and profitability of the UK strawberry industry. 
NB: efficacy testing of pesticides for control of strawberry pests is not included as we understand it will be covered in the new IMPRESS project. 
1. Develop effective biological methods for managing western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (WFT), compatible with pesticide use against SWD.
1.1. Improve the reliability of biocontrol of WFT with predatory mites, particularly Amblyseius cucumeris. 
1.2. Develop effective approaches to use of entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) for control of WFT.
1.3. Investigate more effective predators for WFT
2. Refine pest control programmes on strawberry, integrating pesticides with phytoseiid mites.
3. Develop IPM compatible controls for European tarnished plant bug, Lygus rugulipennis, common green capsid, Lygocoris pabulinus, and strawberry blossom weevil, Anthonomus rubi.
4. Improve insecticide control of the potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, so as to be more compatible with IPM programmes.