Border sprays target stink bugs, reducing pesticide costs

03/27/2013 08:01:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

stink bugCourtesy University of GeorgiaStink bugs are one tough pest.

With their piercing and sucking mouth parts, the insect pest feeds on a wide variety of crops, including cotton, vegetables, pecans, soybeans and corn, according to a news release.

In addition, they can transmit bacterial and fungal pathogens.

Michael Toews, an associate professor of entomology at the University of Georgia's Tifton campus, is working to find better ways to locate and treat stink bugs.

Stink bugs already have become resistance to pyrethroids, an economical pesticide, in parts of southwestern Georgia.

Toews has already found that cotton fields adjacent to either peanuts or soybeans tend ot have more stink bugs.

Avoidance of contiguous bords with cotton is one way to reduce stink bugs.

If that's not possible, Toews said border sprays, which minimizes the amount of pesticides applied, may be one strategy.

By spraying the first 40 feet on the fields' edges, growers can target where most of the stink bug population relocates.

Not only does this method save on spray costs but it also reduces the chances of insecticide resistance from developing and also cuts the risk of secondary pest outbreaks.

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