Chemical control of vine weevil larvae is difficult due to the withdrawal of the most persistent products for use in growing media and to current restrictions on using the remaining products on flowering plants and/or in peat-free substrates. Growers need more information on effective chemical control of adults. Available biological methods for vine weevil control within Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programmes include entomopathogenic nematodes and a fungus (Met52). However, growers lack confidence in Met52 and current nematode application methods are labour-intensive.
This project will underpin the development of a ‘slow down / speed up’ integrated pest management (IPM) system for aphid pests of field crops that combines plant breeding and biological control, focusing on the peach potato aphid, Myzus persicae. Our approach involves slowing down the growth rate of pests while speeding up the performance of their natural enemies. We are investigating the hypothesis that Brassica genotypes with partial resistance that slows down aphid development makes the pest more susceptible to biological control agents including biopesticides and parasitoids.