Control of Lygus hesperus with Beauveria bassiana


Justification and Problem Statement

Lygus hesperus continues to be one of the most damaging pests of cotton in the San Joaquin Valley. L. lineolaris, a
closely related species is quickly becoming the primary pest of cotton in the Southeast US. Current controls consist
ofthe application of broad spectrum pesticides that may also impact natural enemies. The depletion of natural
enemies may lead to increases of other pests such as aphids, whiteflies and spider mites later in the season. A
control that is selective for Lygus would be a benefit to the cotton industry. Both Lygus species are infected, in
nature, by a fungus called Beauveria bassiana. B. bassiana occurs worldwide, and is used commercially. Tests in
our laboratory and in published reports suggest that the commercial products are not very effective against either
Lygus species (Noma and Stickler 2000; Steinkraus and Tugwell 1997). Surveys for B. bassiana done in 2000-2002
revealed widespread prevalence of the fungus (McGuire 2002). B. bassiana was found in all SJV…

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