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Use of refuge traps to disseminate entomopathogenic fungi for the control of adult vine weevil - PS2140

Vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) remains one of the most serious problems in both soft fruit and nursery stock
industries. Adult weevils feed on the leaves, rendering ornamental plants unmarketable, and the larvae feed on
the roots, causing plant stunting, wilting and death. Although non-chemical options are available for the control of
vine weevil larvae, including entomopathogenic nematodes and the entomopathogenic fungus (EPF) Metarhizium
anisopliae (Met52), control of adult weevils is reliant on applications of broad spectrum insecticides. These
insecticides are often incompatible with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programmes.
CRD-funded project PS2134 (ADAS & University of Warwick) was completed as a proof of principle study to
investigate whether artificial refuges have the potential to spread spores of an EPF throughout adult vine weevil
populations. Results from this project confirmed that under semi-field conditions artificial refuges are effective at
spreading a fluorescent powder (used in place of an EPF). The project also identified EPF isolates, including
isolates of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae, that were effective in killing adult vine weevil. Finally,
the project confirmed that spores from EPF-infected adult vine weevils can infect healthy weevils within a refuge.
Therefore, results from project PS2134 indicate that it may be possible to initiate an epidemic within an adult vine
weevil population.
Having established thepotential of using artificial refuges containing an EPF to control adult vine weevil in
PS2134, the proposed project will further develop and test this approach under more realistic semi-field
conditions.The proposed project will use novel approaches and exciting technology to demonstrate whether using artificial
refuges containing spores of a suitable EPF can initiate an epidemic within an adult vine weevil population. The
research will support CRD's aim of reducing reliance on chemical pesticides, and offer the opportunity for the
development of a simple, practical, cost-effective and IPM-compatible means of controlling this serious pest in soft
fruit and nursery stock crops.
1.Quantify improved vine weevil adherence and efficacy of electrostatic EPF formulations when used in an
artificial refuge.
2: Improve current understanding of adult vine weevil movement in soft fruit and nursery stock crops, in order to
determine the density of refuge traps needed for effective EPF spread. In addition to using fluorescent powders,
passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tags will be used in a proof of principle study.
3: Test the efficacy of the best performing EPF formulation(s) under semi-field conditions that mimic soft fruit and
nursery stock crops.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : PS2140 Final report   (897k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2015

Cost: £150,380
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Harper Adams University College, University of Warwick, A D A S UK Ltd (ADAS)
Insecticide use              
Pesticide use              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety