Including baculoviruses in insect control strategies – opportunities & challenges


Abstract: Baculovirus-based insecticides have rarely been included in integrated pest management (IPM) in open-field vegetable production. However, due to the unique mode of action and its efficacy, baculovirus-based insecticides have great potential for IPM, especially for resistance management strategies. In close collaboration with researchers and distributors, Andermatt Biocontrol is developing strategies, which allow using baculovirus (BV) products for the control of pests in complexes. Field trials are performed in the USA with the two products Spexit® (SeNPV) and Loopex® (AcNPV), applied alone or in combination. In fresh market tomato, a high dose of Spexit® as well as a low dose of Spexit® in tankmix with Bta showed the best results with around 70% efficacy for beet armyworm control. Furthermore, Spexit® was an excellent rotation partner for spinosad. In a second trial with Loopex® on broccoli, efficient cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) control was found. The development of late larval instars, which are mainly responsible for feeding damage, was successfully avoided. Likewise, good efficacy of Loopex® in combination with Btk was shown, also controlling secondary pest. Both products Spexit® and Loopex® were applied in a third trial in cabbage in combination with organic and conventional products. Results show that NPV’s are valuable tools for IPM production systems with similar efficacy to growers’ standard.

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