Ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) pose a significant challenge to producers of ornamental nursery stock. Conventional insecticides are commonly used for management purposes, but plant-derived essential oils also may discourage ambrosia beetles from initiating attacks. To identify promising commercially available products, field-based efficacy trials were conducted in Ohio in 2009 and 2010 with the following products: Armorex (Soil Technologies), Cinnacure (Proguard, Inc.), EcoTrol (EcoSMART Technologies, Inc.), and Veggie Pharm (Pharm Solutions, Inc.). Potted Magnolia virginiana L. were first injected with 75 ml of 5% ethanol to ensure ambrosia beetle pressure on experimental trees. Mixtures of each product (10% in water) and a water control were applied until runoff and attacks occurring under field conditions were quantified at 1, 4, 7, and 14 d after treatment (DAT). Ambrosia beetle attacks generally increased over time but at differing rates depending on the particular treatment. In 2009, Armorex and Veggie Pharm were associated with the lowest cumulative attacks 14 DAT. In 2010, Armorex and Cinnacure were associated with the fewest attacks 14 DAT. Solid phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to characterize the volatile compounds associated with each product. Allyl isothiocyanate, a compound with known repellent and insecticidal properties, was unique and predominant in Armorex. These experiments identified commercially available botanicals containing plant essential oils with activity against ambrosia beetles, along with demonstrating the usefulness of ethanol-injection to ensure ambrosia beetle pressure under field conditions. Characterizing the constituents of efficacious botanically based products could also lead to the development of improved botanical insecticides.
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Vol. 104 • No. 5