Control of leatherjackets in laboratory and field experiments


Abstract: Larvae of crane flies (Tipula spp.), commonly known as leatherjackets, are animportant pest in agriculture and horticulture. Significant damage occurs mainly in crop rotationswith grass or high maintenance turfs used in golf courses. Damage may occur in crops like sugarbeet, winter cereals and red beet that are grown following pasture or a crop of grass for seedproduction. The two most important species in Western Europe are Tipula paludosa andT. oleracea. The larvae damage seedling roots, lower parts of the stem or the lowest leaves atnight. During the day, the larvae are generally close to the plants just beneath the surface of thesoil. Overall, leatherjackets prefer moist soil conditions and survival is favored by mild winters.Leatherjackets have been controlled previously with the insecticides parathion-methyl andfenitrothion as soil treatments. However, nowadays, no insecticides are allowed against leatherjacketsin The Netherlands. In recent years experimental and field trials have been conducted tocontrol leatherjackets in grass, preventing problems in the following year in several crops.Several insecticides, biologicals and nematodes were tested as autumn applications. Bifenthrinand Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis showed the same level of protection as the referenceinsecticide Parathion-methyl.

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