Aggregation behavior of adult western spotted cucumber beetles (Diabrotica undecimpunctata undecimpunctata Mannerheim) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) was examined in six snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) fields adjacent to corn fields in western Oregon in 2004–2006. In the 2004 and 2005 studies, sweep net sampling was used to estimate beetle numbers along transect lines running perpendicular to the edges of the bean fields next to sweet corn fields. Beetles were collected from the fields and dissected to determine sex and egg development. Beetles were highly aggregated along the edge of the snap bean field next to the sweet corn, with the highest number of beetles occurring within the first meter next to the edge. Beetles in the aggregation areas were mostly females (average female to male ratio of 8.4 to 1), whereas beetles in the field section away from the edges were mostly male (female to male ratio of 0.6 to 1). Of the females collected in the aggregation areas, an average of 53% contained developing or fully developed eggs. In the 2006 study, beetle densities in the field edges were compared with densities within the fields in 40 bean fields with adjacent corn fields. Linear regression analysis showed that, across fields, nearly two times as many beetles were found in the field borders as in the rest of the field. These data suggest modifying traditional field scouting protocol to include field margins when a bean field is adjacent to or near a sweet corn field. A pest management strategy of only spraying the edges of bean fields containing beetle aggregations shows potential for significant pesticide reduction, as well as reducing risk of economic loss from crops harvested from the highly aggregated areas.
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