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The Role of Biological Control in Lygus spp. Management

John R. Ruberson


Lygus spp. are attacked by a variety of predators, parasites, and pathogens, but the impact of this natural enemy complex on Lygus populations is not well known. Several species of exotic parasites have been introduced into the United States, one of which is now established in a limited region of the northeastern U.S. Several studies indicate that some native predators and parasites can inflict high mortality on Lygus populations; however, efficacy of these natural enemies appears to vary among the bugs' host plants, with crop systems experiencing some of the poorest biological control. The fungal pathogen Beauveria bassiana may become a valuable tool in the future for managing early-season populations of Lygus spp. in crop systems. More information is needed on the role of natural enemies in the population dynamics of Lygus spp., in both crop and natural systems. This information may help us develop programs using natural enemies to target and suppress Lygus populations over large areas, and before they enter the cotton system. Continuing efforts also should be directed toward importing exotic, effective natural enemies that can provide permanent population suppression.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1998 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 933 - 938
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998