Vacuums provide limited Lygus control in strawberries
California Agriculture 49(2):19-22. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v049n02p19.
Lygus bug (Lygus hesperus) feeding causes small strawberry size and weight, but the most serious damage is a deformation of the fruit called “cat-facing.” Over two growing seasons, three grower-designed vacuum machines were evaluated for season-long control of Lygus bugs in production strawberry (var. ‘Selva’) fields on the coast. The Lygus bug control in fields vacuumed weekly and twice-weekly was compared to that in fields treated with malathion insecticide or an unregistered pesticide, bifenthrin. All vacuum machines significantly reduced Lygus bug damage when compared to the untreated control. However, the damage in plots treated only with the vacuum machines was high enough to be considered economically unacceptable.
C. Pickel was Area IPM Advisor head-quartered in Santa Cruz County, and is Area IPM Advisor, Sacramento Valley; F.G. Zalom is Director, Statewide IPM Project, and Extension Entomologist, UC Davis; D.B. Walsh is Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Entomology, UC Davis; N.C. Welch is Farm Advisor, Santa Cruz County.
This study was supported in part by the California Strawberry Advisory Board and the California Energy Commission. We thank Jon Becker and Robert Curtis for their assistance on the project.