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Influence of Prey Availability on Survival of Campylomma verbasci (Hemiptera: Miridae) and Factors Influencing Efficacy of Chemical Control on Apples
Editor(s): Oscar Alomar; Robert N. Wiedenmann
Author(s): Michael E. Reding, Elizabeth H. Beers
Print Publication Date: 1996

Campylomma verbasci (Meyer) has become a serious, widespread pest of apple in Washington in recent years. Its feeding behavior and propensity to damage fruit is not well understood. An investigation was conducted to determine factors influencing C. verbasci survival and fruit damage to ‘Delicious‘ apple during 2 periods of the growing season—around bloom (nymphs from overwintering eggs) and during midsummer (2nd or 3rd generation nymphs and adults). The primary period of concern is around bloom, when the I st-generation nymphs are hatching from overwintering eggs. Fruit damage associated with the presence of C. verbasci has been consistently noted during this period. Chemical controls applied before, during, and after apple bloom significantly reduced fruit damage by C. verbasci at harvest. Treatments with insecticide applications timed from the 112-in green through the bloom stages of apple phe11ology did not result in different percentages of fruit damage, although nymph populations after treatment were higher in the earliest applications. Applications timed at pink and bloom were the most effective overall in preve11ti11g fruit damage, whereas applications timed at petal fall and later were less effective in preventing damage. Materials showing usable levels of efficacy against C. verbasci include chlorpyrifos, diazinon, e11dosulfan, and formetanate hydrochloride. A fatty acid (soap) insecticide showed moderate activity against C. verbasci and may be useful in soft pesticide programs. Although early-season damage is widely assumed to be the most serious problem, the possibility of damage later in the season has not been excluded. C. verbasci nymphs and adults were caged on apple trees in early July with and without a prey source (Aphis pomi). Survival of C. verbasci was poor, and the presence of aphids in cages did not significantly increase survival. No fruit damage was noted as a result of C. verbasci being caged in close proximity to fruit. Thus, no control measures are recommended during this period.

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