Bug Bites: An Intermediate-level seminar series on greenhouse biological control

Tune in every Tuesday in September to get your biocontrol questions answered by industry experts.

Aphidoletes aphidimyza larvae eating aphids
Biological control agents at work! Aphidoletes aphidimyza larvae (orange) feast on the body contents of plump juicy aphids (translucent green) while the drained husks of past victims lie in the background. Golden mummified aphid skins (right) are a telltale sign of parasitoid wasp activity. Photo by Jeremy Jubenville, MSU Extension.

Back by popular demand! The floriculture team from Michigan State University Extension is pleased to present a second edition of their live weekly webcast series on greenhouse biological control. Bug Bites! begin the first full week of September 2021 and are intended to be intermediate-level discussions geared toward floriculture production systems. Four seminars, each presented in a comfortable format (45 minutes plus Q&A), will help both beginning and experienced practitioners integrate additional tactics into their existing biocontrol programs.

Thrips have long been recognized as one of the most persistent and challenging greenhouse pests to manage. So much, in fact, that thrips management has become the cornerstone of greenhouse biocontrol. A dilemma that frequently arises, however, is the need to suppress additional pests without causing a significant disruption to other management efforts. In the previous series, we addressed this issue by taking an in-depth look at managing other common greenhouse pests. This year, however, we are placing special emphasis on some of the more nuanced aspects of using beneficial organisms to control greenhouse thrips populations. The September 2021 series features four guest educators from Canada and the United States:

  • Onion thrips and thrips identification – Sept. 7, 11 a.m. EST. Sarah Jandricic (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture)
  • Getting the most out of your beneficial nematode applications – Sept. 14, 11 a.m. EST. John Sanderson (Cornell University)
  • Biopesticides and their interaction with biological control agents – Sept. 21, 11 a.m. EST. Steven Arthurs (BIOBEE USA)
  • Supplemental nutrition: theory and application – Sept. 28, 11 a.m. EST. Veronica Cervantes (Biobest USA)

With the intention of taking a deeper look into each subject, the speakers will expect participants to have some familiarity with common greenhouse pests and biological control agents. Prior knowledge will be helpful but not necessary.

There is no cost to attend these online seminars, however, registration is required. Registration information, along with the series schedule and speaker biographies, can be found at the Bug Bites! webpage or by contacting Jeremy Jubenville at 269-492-2813.

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