NEW: Lygus rugulipennis

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NEW: Lygus rugulipennis

New for Fruit Focus LIVE 2020

New for Fruit Focus LIVE 2020

The capsid Lygus rugulipennis is an important pest to the UK strawberry industry with just 1 per 40 plants enough to have an economic impact. Damage is caused when the pest feeds on flowers. Fruits that subsequently develop become ‘cat faced’ (referring to their misshapen appearance) and are unmarketable as 1st class fruit.

Conventional control options are becoming limited so alternative strategies are needed. Pheromones are a possible answer. As with other organisms Lygus rugulipennis communicates using different pheromones which elicit specific physical responses in its conspecifics.

 

By selecting appropriate pheromones and synthesising them into a simple method of application, NIAB EMR and NRI with the support of the AHDB have managed to develop a ‘push-pull’ system to help protect commercial strawberry from Lygus rugulipennis damage. Moreover there is evidence that other capsids are controlled too. During 2 years of field trials a capsid repellent ‘push’ was deployed in the centre of the crop in combination with an attractant ‘pull’ in traps around the perimeter of the crop. The outcome has been hugely promising with markedly fewer capsids counted in the crop, an increase in undamaged fruit and no noticeable adverse impact on natural enemies.

Adam Walker will be virtually taking growers through the development of this technique and its future prospects.