Small Fruit Pest Management Program
The small fruit insect and mite program at WSU Mount Vernon is focused on new and cost effective cultural and pest management strategies developed from integrated and holistically targeted research. Release and registration of new mode of action insecticides and miticides, when rationally integrated with their ecological selectivity to natural enemies and precision placement will lead to increased efficiency and more cost effective productivity. The programs’ integrated management of arthropod pests of the state’s $100 million small fruit industry is focused on researching alternative pesticide chemistries, biorationals and applied biological control. Our program includes regional and international components and endeavors to improve the quality of food and health of farmers and consumers here and in developing countries. Food safety concerns, water and environmental health along with increased costs of agrichemical protection, production and arthropod pest control tools are issues central to the programs’ focus to enhance small fruit production in western Washington. Outreach activities include research such as:
- Root weevil management in strawberry, red raspberry blueberry.
- Utilize IPM to control the potato flea beetle with entomopathogenic nematodes, fungi and selective insecticides in thin-skinned potato.
- Investigate the biology and control of blueberry gall midge using the organically acceptable compound Bt and insecticides exhibiting low toxicity and a narrow target range.
- Conservation of naturally occurring beneficial predatory mites and insects to control spider mites on red raspberry through careful timing and use of selective acaricides.
- Evaluate selective new chemistries to control aphids infesting small fruits.
- Investigate native predatory mites to control spider mites in Philippines’ strawberry.