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1 June 2008 Evaluation of Cultural Practices for Potential to Control Strawberry Sap Beetle (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)
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Strawberry sap beetle, Stelidota geminata (Say) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), adults and larvae feed on and contaminate marketable strawberry (Fragaria L.) fruit. The beetle is a serious pest in the northeastern United States, with growers in multiple states reporting closing fields for picking prematurely due to fruit damage. Three options were evaluated for potential to reduce strawberry sap beetle populations. First, the influence of plant structure on accessibility of fruit in different strawberry cultivars to strawberry sap beetle was assessed by modifying plant structure and exposing caged plants to strawberry sap beetle adults. Severity of damage to berries staked up off the ground was similar to damage to those fruit contacting the soil, showing that adults will damage fruit held off the ground. Second, baited traps were placed at three distances into strawberry fields to determine whether overwintered beetles enter strawberry fields gradually. Adult beetles were first caught in the strawberries ≈19 d after occurring in traps placed along edges of adjacent wooded areas. The beetles arrived during the same sampling interval in traps at all distances into the fields, indicating that a border spray is unlikely to adequately control strawberry sap beetle. Third, the number of strawberry sap beetle emerging from strawberry for 5 wk after tilling and narrowing of plant rows was compared in plots renovated immediately at the end of harvest and in plots where renovation was delayed by 1 wk. In the 2-yr study, year and not treatment was the primary factor affecting the total number of emerging strawberry sap beetle. Overall, limited potential exists to reduce strawberry sap beetle populations by choosing cultivars with a particular plant structure, applying insecticide as a border spray, or modifying time of field renovation.

Rebecca L. Loughner, Gregory M. Loeb, Sonia Schloemann, and Kathleen Demchak "Evaluation of Cultural Practices for Potential to Control Strawberry Sap Beetle (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)," Journal of Economic Entomology 101(3), 850-858, (1 June 2008).[850:EOCPFP]2.0.CO;2
Received: 28 March 2007; Accepted: 14 January 2008; Published: 1 June 2008

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