Insect and Disease Control: Greenhouse Pest Controls
ARC has been working on two fronts to provide greenhouse operators with safe, effective insecticides for use on ornamental plants such as poinsettias. Chemical insecticides pose a constant threat to worker health and the environment. Currently available biological controls, while safe, are not effective enough to make them economically viable in many ornamental crops. In addition, the western flower thrips, a major insect pest of greenhouse crops, is becoming increasingly resistant to chemical insecticides.
Fungus-based products, called mycoinsecticides, have shown promise when used in an integrated pest management program. ARC research shows that a commercial product from Mycotech Inc., based on the Beauveria bassiana fungus, is effective in managing thrips on poinsettia. The results will be used to support efforts to register the product. Meanwhile, research continues into the effectiveness of various strains of B. bassiana with the goal of developing a superior native product.
Alberta Research Council. Alberta Research Council 1999 Annual Report. Edmonton: Alberta
Research Council, 1999 with permission from the Alberta