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Evaluation of Early-Season Baculovirus Treatment for Suppression of Heliothis virescens and Helicoverpa Zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Over a Wide Area

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Pheromone trap counts of F1 male cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), and tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (F.), were used to assess the effect of areawide suppression achieved by early-season application of a Helicoverpa/Heliothisspecific nuclear polyhedrosis virus. Eggs (F2) were collected from cotton and other hosts to characterize the surviving reproductive populations. Trap and egg collection sites were established at 1.6-km intervals (n = 5) in four cardinal directions from the center of control and treated plots (259 km2, ≍ 10 by 10 mil. Traps also were placed at five additional intervals in four cardinal directions beyond the treated plot to assess the effect of dispersal. The effect of treatment was demonstrated by deviations in trap capture patterns within a year between treated and control plots and between years in the treated plot. Rates of increase between generations were calculated from the number of moths captured in one generation divided by the number from the previous generation. The rate of increase for the first field generation of H. virescens in the treated plot (1990) was 13% compared with 38% in the control plot (1990) and 38% in the treated plot in the year before treah11ent (1989). The rate of increase for the first field generation of H. zea was 36% in the treated plot (1990) compared with 55% in the control plot (1990) and 95% in the treated plot the year before treatment (1989). Rates of increase for both species in the subsequent generation remained low in the treated plot (1990) compared with the control plot (1990) and with the previous year (1989). Our results indicate that a single virus application can reduce the adult H. virescens and H. zea populations emerging from alternative hosts present early in the season. Other methods for improving the efficacy of treatments are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1994

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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