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Morris Arboretum’s greenhouses are home to several hundred different plant species. This makes scouting and controlling pests more challenging than in a typical greenhouse production system. There are six common greenhouse pest categories at Morris Arboretum: aphids, mites, mealybugs, scale, thrips, and whitefly. Danielle N. Novick, last year’s plant propagation intern, created a guidebook to help with identifying, informing, and controlling common pests and diseases (Novick, 2015). To successfully control pests in the greenhouse, the next step is to have the proper timing and a proactive release plan for control options ready. A proactive year-round calendar and action plan were created to predict the timing for controlling pest with biocontrols. Since aphids, mealybug, and mites are the most common pests in the greenhouse, this project focuses on controlling these more proactively, because there are predators for them.
Biocontrols are readily available for controlling and reducing aphids and mites; however, mealybug biocontrols are less aggressive. Four different wasps for controlling aphids: Aphidius abdominalis, A. colemani, A. ervi, and A. matricariae were reared successfully for this project. A year round program for controlling mites was designed using predatory mites: Neoseiulus (previously known as Amblyseius) fallacis, N. cucumeris, Amblyseius swirskii, and Stratiolaelaps scimitus. Mealybug destroyers Cryptolaemus montrouzieri controls mealybug particularly citrus mealybugs, Planococcus citri, but this does not work well for longtailed mealybugs. The barley banker plant system was used to help disperse the aphid predators throughout the greenhouse in the late winter and early spring. To aid visual scouting, indicator plants have been incorporated into the greenhouses. Thus far, the proactive pest control plan appears to have the proper timing down, particularly with aphids and mites.
Date Posted: 22 April 2019