Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Entomology

First Advisor

Dr. Ricardo Bessin

Abstract

The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is an invasive, agriculturally destructive pest present in most of the United States. Because organic farmers have few effective control options to combat this pest, three potential control options were investigated. Screens of different mesh sizes (0.42cm, 0.32cm, and 0.10cm) that covered vegetable crops were evaluated for their ability to exclude H. halys, allow the entry of beneficial insects, and protect the crop from various types of damage. H. halys and native stink bug egg masses were placed in an organic field and evidence of predation and parasitism from native natural enemies was assessed. Lastly, a pre-formulated product of the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, was used to target H. halys in a field, greenhouse, and lab setting to determine its effectiveness. Finer screens excluded beneficial insects but protected the crop from stink bug and sun damage, increasing the percentage of marketable crop. Predators control some of H. halys eggs but parasitoids are unable to emerge from a large portion of H. halys eggs, potentially causing their control to be unsustainable. B. bassiana was not observed to effectively control H. halys during any of the fungus trials.

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