Don’t let pests prevail

Published by permission from Greenhouse Management Magazine. c/o GIE Media Inc. originally printed 2/24/2016. http://www.giemedia.com/index.html

Written by Raymond Cloyd

 

Don’t let pests prevail Features – Pest & Disease Acquiring a basic knowledge of the different categories of insecticides, and how they work, will better equip you to handle pest infestations. Insecticides are an integral component of most pest management programs associated with greenhouse-grown horticultural crops. Insecticides are relatively inexpensive, easy to apply and effective (in most cases).  Greenhouse producers apply insecticides to maintain insect pest populations below damaging levels or suppress existing insect pest populations so as to avoid any losses associated with marketability or salability due to a reduction in aesthetic value. The types of insecticides that may be used on greenhouse-grown horticultural crops include contact, stomach poison, translaminar and systemic.  Contact insecticides kill insect pests (e.g. aphids, caterpillars, thrips and whiteflies) by direct contact or when an insect pest walks or crawls over a treated surface. The insect pest walks across that treated surface and then insecticide residues enter the body and move to the site of action.

The activity of stomach poison insecticides is affiliated with an insect pest feeding on treated surfaces such as leaves and ingesting the insecticide residues, which are then absorbed through the stomach lining. Insects stop feeding in 24 to 48 hours with death usually occurring within two to four days.  Translaminar insecticides work by penetrating leaf tissues and forming a reservoir of active ingredient within the leaf, which provides residual activity against foliar-feeding insect pests.  Systemic insecticides applied to the growing medium, as either a drench or granule, involve the active ingredient being taken-up by the root system, which is then translocated or distributed throughout the plant. Systemic insecticides are primarily used to prevent outbreaks of phloem-feeding insect pests such as aphids and whiteflies.  The two major categories of insecticides that target insect pests are: broad-spectrum and narrow-spectrum/selective insecticides. Broad-spectrum insecticides are active on a variety of different insect pests, which is helpful when a diversity of horticultural crops is grown in a greenhouse. Narrow-spectrum or selective insecticides are only active on certain types of insects. For example, the product Dipel, which contains the active ingredient, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, only has activity on caterpillars. Another example is the product Gnatrol, which contains Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis as the active ingredient, and is only active on fungus gnat larvae.  The effectiveness of an insecticide depends on several factors related to application including: coverage, timing and frequency. Thorough, uniform coverage of all aboveground plant parts, including leaves and stems, is important in suppressing insect pest populations. Both upper and lower leaf surfaces must receive a sufficient volume of spray solution. Be sure to determine the location of pests, and then direct spray applications to those plant parts to achieve maximum coverage; subsequently increasing insecticide effectiveness. Leaf undersides must be sufficiently covered, as this is where the life stages (eggs, larvae/nymphs, pupae and adults) of most insect pests are located.  The use of water-sensitive paper or spray cards may be used to assess spray coverage by quantifying spray droplet distribution and deposition. The strips of water-sensitive paper turn blue when exposed to water droplets. Spray cards can be randomly distributed among a crop and securely attached to plants. This practice should be conducted routinely to determine droplet size and density. Moreover, using spray cards will help to evaluate the performance of the spray equipment and applicator efficiency.  Proper timing of insecticide applications will also maximize effectiveness. Insecticide applications conducted when insect pest populations are extensive results in taking longer to lower the numbers below damaging levels. Therefore, more frequent applications will be required, especially when dealing with multiple age structures or overlapping generations.

In addition, insect pests may 1) have developed into life stages, such as eggs or pupae that are tolerant of insecticide applications; 2) already be causing substantial plant damage; or 3) be in locations on plants such as unopened terminal buds or flowers that are difficult to reach with sprays. Always time insecticide applications when insect pest numbers are low. Insecticides should be applied in the early morning or late afternoon, which is generally when most insect pests are active, although activity depends on ambient air temperatures. Applying insecticides when insect pests are less active will result in minimal efficacy (based on mortality).  Most insecticides only kill the young (larvae or nymphs) and adult life stages of insect pests with no direct effect on eggs or pupae. Therefore, repeat applications are warranted in order to kill stages that were initially not susceptible to previous applications such as larvae or nymphs that were in the egg stage, and adults that were in the pupal stage. When dealing with overlapping generations and different age structures simultaneously, repeat applications will be required. In some cases, depending on the target insect pest, two to three applications may be needed when insect pest populations are abundant.  Frequency of application also depends on the season. For instance, during cooler temperatures, the insect life cycle (egg to adult) and the length of development between generations may be extended compared to warmer temperatures, which may result in fewer insecticide applications; however, one common problem is that intervals between spray applications are too long (e.g. >10 days), which leads to insufficient suppression of insect pest populations.  In order to maximize insecticide activity against targeted insect pests, be sure to time applications accordingly, cover all plant parts with the spray solution and conduct frequent enough applications to suppress insect pest populations.  Raymond is a professor and extension specialist in horticultural entomology/plant protection in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State University. His research and extension program involves plant protection in greenhouses, nurseries, landscapes, conservatories and vegetables and fruits.

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Research Shows BioSafe Product AzaGuard Effective Against Leaf Miners in Ornamentals

 

For Immediate Release
No Kill Date
February 2015

Leaf Miners are difficult pests to manage in greenhouse production of ornamental plants. Leaf Miner adults lay eggs in plant tissue and the larvae feeds and develops within the leaf, causing considerable damage.

At BioSafe Systems we’re constantly striving to provide sustainable and effective solutions to real world issues that affect our customers and growers. In June 2014, we initiated a lab study to assess the efficacy of our OMRI listed and EPA approved product AzaGuard to prove that this insecticide/nematicide is effective in managing leaf miners on greenhouse ornamentals.

The experimental design consisted of a number of Gerbera Daisy’s being held until leaf miners reached a level of about five mines per leaf. There were 15 different treatments applied and a water control, each replicated six times. Weekly sampling of all treatments continued until July 30, 2014.

The study identified AzaGuard as an effective option in controlling Leaf Miners on ornamentals. AzaGuard was one of the few products that provided excellent leaf miner control, reducing leaf miners to fewer than five mines per leaf by the second week of the trial.

For more information on AzaGuard and a copy of the lab study conducted by the University of California, please call 1.888.273.3088.

About BioSafe Systems, LLC
BioSafe Systems, LLC has been a manufacturer and marketer of sustainable crop protection, water treatment and food safety solutions in the agrichemical segment. BioSafe also provides unique, sustainable and environmentally responsible chemistries into the horticultural, meat and poultry and retail segments. BioSafe is a family-owned company based in East Hartford, CT whose products are proudly manufactured in the United States of America.

Research Shows BioSafe Product ZeroTol 2.0 Effective Against Botrytis Blight on Geraniums

For Immediate Release
No Kill Date
February 2015

 

Botrytis Blight or Gray Mold is a common disease in many greenhouse grown crops including Geraniums. Botrytis Blight usually affects plants at the tip of younger leaves, causing a water-soaked area. The infected areas enlarge and fungus appears to grow down onto the main stem. This disease has been a problem for greenhouses of all sizes for many years.

Here at BioSafe Systems we are constantly striving to solve real world issues that affect our customers and growers. In February 2015, we initiated a lab study to assess the efficacy of our OMRI listed and EPA approved bactericide ZeroTol 2.0 to prove that this crop solution is effective in managing foliar blight on Geraniums.

The experimental design was a randomized complete block with 13 treatments and 5 plant replications. Two rates of ZeroTol 2.0 (1:80; 1.6 fl.oz of ZeroTol 2.0 per gallon of water and 1:200; 0.64 fl.oz per gallon of water) were evaluated in this study. A total of 5 applications were made with ZeroTol 2.0 on a 7-day interval. Each plant received approximately 100 ml of spray solution per application.

The study identified ZeroTol 2.0 as an effective option in controlling Botrytis Blight in Geraniums. The average disease incidence and severity ratings were statistically lower in plants treated with ZeroTol 2.0. The treatments also showed an improvement in plant height, especially with the higher rate of ZeroTol 2.0.

For more information on ZeroTol 2.0 and a copy of the lab study conducted by the University of Florida, please call 1.888.273.3088.

About BioSafe Systems, LLC
BioSafe Systems, LLC has been a manufacturer and marketer of sustainable crop protection, water treatment and food safety solutions in the agrichemical segment. BioSafe also provides unique, sustainable and environmentally responsible chemistries into the horticultural, meat and poultry and retail segments. BioSafe is a family-owned company based in East Hartford, CT whose products are proudly manufactured in the United States of America.

Eric Milenski Joins BioSafe Systems

For Immediate Release
No Kill Date
April 2016

BioSafe Systems is proud to welcome Eric Milenski to the Agrichemical team as Southwest Territory Manager. He will be covering a territory that includes Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Based in Oklahoma City, OK Eric will spearhead sales goals to establish consistent, direct communication with strategic distribution partners, growers/packers and market influencers.

In his role, Eric is charged with increasing the market penetration and sales of BioSafe’s crop protection, water treatment and food safety solutions. He will focus his efforts on establishing strong, lasting rapport with distributors and providing technical support to our loyal customers, while establishing relationships with new customers.

Eric attended West Texas A&M University of Agriculture and Plant Science. He brings with him years of experience and an impressive family history in farming and chemicals – a tradition that he continued in his own career working water management in the oil field industry, owning a lawn fertilizer company, and now in joining BioSafe. Eric’s background in agriculture will be an invaluable asset to BioSafe’s expanding client-base.

“Being raised in the agriculture business stays in your blood. I look forward to a long and beneficial career with BioSafe Systems,” says Eric.

About BioSafe Systems, LLC
BioSafe Systems, LLC has been a manufacturer and marketer of sustainable crop protection, water treatment and food safety solutions in the agrichemical segment. BioSafe also provides unique, sustainable and environmentally responsible chemistries into the horticultural, meat and poultry and retail segments. BioSafe is a family-owned company based in East Hartford, CT whose products are proudly manufactured in the United States of America.

Manuel Campos Joins BioSafe Systems as Technical Agronomist

EAST HARTFORD, CT, April 20 – BioSafe Systems is pleased to welcome Manuel Campos to the Agriculture sales team as a Technical Agronomist, starting May 2. Campos’ territory includes Mexico and he will be based in Weslaco, TX. With a focus on pre-and post-harvest, he will spearhead sales goals to establish consistent, direct communication with strategic distribution partners, growers/packers and market influencers.

In his role, Campos will work to increase market penetration and sales of BioSafe Systems’ crop protection, water treatment and food safety solutions. He will focus his efforts on establishing a strong, lasting rapport with distributors and providing technical support to our loyal customers while establishing relationships with new customers.

Campos has a Bachelor’s degree in Crop Protection and Master’s degree in Entomology from Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, as well as a Ph.D. in Entomology from Oklahoma State University. Campos has spent much of his career in research, most recently working at Texas A&M AgriLife Research conducting diverse experiments on different pests affecting vegetables for several leading agrochemical industries.

“I’m excited to become part of an industry-leading company focused on the biopesticide market. It’s always been part of my personal goals to work with sustainable products that are becoming more and more important in the crop protection segment,” says Campos.

For information contact BioSafe Systems at 888.273.3088 toll-free or visit biosafesystems.com.

About BioSafe Systems, LLC
BioSafe Systems, LLC has been a manufacturer and marketer of sustainable crop protection, water treatment and food safety solutions in the agrichemical segment. BioSafe also provides unique, sustainable and environmentally responsible chemistries into the horticultural, meat and poultry and retail segments. BioSafe is a family-owned company based in East Hartford, CT whose products are proudly manufactured in the United States of America.