During the summer and winter of 2012 the spread of pests is being monitored for the year 3 honours project of Sam Hickling who is studying for the BSc in Zoology.
Data gathered through monitoring will be combined with data from an online survey of other glasshouse IPM activities in public and research collections and used to to design and implement an Integrated Pest Management programme for our glasshouse.
Each week Sam has been recording which pests are on which plants to help understand the spread of the pests and the different susceptibilities of different species. Already it has become evident that some plants are pest magnets while others suffer little.
One initial attempt at pest control the use of Harelquin ladybirds to try to remove aphids from Cuphea llavea but did not succeed, probably due to defence of the aphids by ants. We now have to find a way to control the ants.
There does seem to be considerable parasitoid activity causing aphids and whitefly to mummify.
Online survey to be published
We plan to conduct a survey of Wet Tropical plant collections to evaluate the current use of IPM. Information for potantial participants can be downloaded here: HicklingInfoOct2012 rev.