Biocontrol agents for turf pests

Michael Brownbridge, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre; Deborah Henderson, Kwantlen Polytechnic University; Pam Charbonneau, OMAFRA

To assess biocontrol agents for turf, Dr. Michael Brownbridge with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, has led a study on five fungal entomopathogens, two nematode species, and neem seed cake applied alone and in combination to control European Chafer and Chinch Bug. Trials conducted in Ontario and British Columbia demonstrated neem seed cake as providing the best control of chafer larva although neem cake is not presently registered in Canada for insecticidal use. Soil studies of highly managed turf have indicated that there may be no natural fungal controls present that could suppress chafer infestations. A potential upside is that management of chafer in turf by adding beneficial strains of the fungus Metarhizium may be improved. Studies also demonstrated successful control of chinch bugs with nematodes and an experimental essential oil product.