2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Pirates vs. Lions: Using Predatory Insects to Control Herbivorous Pests

Joshua T. Steffens*, Anne S. Wells, Zachary A. Boeyink, and Adrien M. Seabloom
Dr. Kelly Walter and Dr. Bob Johnson, Faculty Mentors

Insect pests have proved to be detrimental in both commercial and domestic growing operations as they damage the plants and yields. The Truman State University Greenhouse is a clear example as they are dealing with an infestation of mealybugs that, up until now, have only been controlled through manual removal as pesticides risk health concerns for the students and staff. To supply a better answer to this problem we have begun a project to investigate the effects of two species of predatory insects. We are running three trials, with ten replicates each, composed of three treatments: pirate bugs, lacewings, and a control. The objective of this research is to determine if the usage of one or both of these insects proves to significantly diminish the mealybug populations in a controlled environment to provide possible alternative methods of pest management to the TSU greenhouse.

Keywords: Beneficial Insects, Pirate Bug, Green Lacewing, Mealybug, Greenhouse, Integrated Pest Management, Natural Predators

Topic(s):Agricultural Science
Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 202-5
Location: SUB GEO A
Time: 11:15

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* Indicates the Student Presenter
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