PI(s): Pfeiffer, Douglas G (Project Leader)

Investigators: Maxey, Laura M (Investigator), Laub, Curt (Investigator)

Abstract: The objective is to determine insecticides that will control Japanese beetles on several fruit crops grown in Virginia. Materials will be determined that control Japanese beetles either by killing adult beetles or by preventing their feeding, that meet current days-to-harvest restrictions on commodities where the beetles commonly feed on fruit just before harvest.

Description:Japanese beetle (JB), Popillia japonica (Newman), is a pest of a wide list of economically important plants. It is a frequent cause for grower concern on caneberries (brambles), grape, peach, and to a lesser degree, apple. On caneberries and peach, adult beetles feed directly on fruit as the fruits ripen. Because of this timing, most materials that are effective against adults, are prohibited because of days-to-harvest (e.g. Sevin is very effective but may not be sprayed within 7 days of harvest). Established grapevines can tolerate substantial foliar feeding (Boucher and Pfeiffer 1989). However, young vines, and even mature vines in years of high JB activity, can experience high levels of defoliation, with resulting drops in fruit quality. Sprays for Japanese beetle are disruptive of biological control of other fruit pests as well as for JB itself. Many growers as well as homeowners are interested in materials that may be used as fruit ripen, and are safe for human applicators, workers and residents. The past year (2006) was a very severe year for Japanese beetle on many crops. This year (2007) may be a year of high activity as well because of adequate rainfall that fell in many areas. Objective 1: To utilize organic or environmentally selective insecticides to control feeding by Japanese beetle adults. Objective 2: To determine if the presence of certain selected plant species will lower Japanese beetle density on fruit plants.