Evaluation of Food Baits for Pre-Plant Sampling of Wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in Potato Fields in Southern Florida
AbstractExperiments were conducted during two consecutive growing seasons to evaluate food baits for pre-plant sampling of wireworms that attack potato in southern Florida. Wireworm species studied were: Melanotus communis (Gyllenhal), southern potato wireworm, Conoderus falli Lane, C. amplicollis (Gyllenhal), and C. rudis (Brown). Baits evaluated were hybrid sweet corn seed, hybrid sorghum-sudangrass seed, a 1:1 mixture of corn and sorghum-sudangrass seed, a whole sweet corn ear, potato seed pieces, a 1:1 mixture of oatmeal and corn flake, rolled oats, and carrots. In the first year, numbers of wireworm larvae did not differ between food bait and soil samples for most food baits tested. Melanotus communis larvae were most numerous in the oatmeal-corn flake and sorghum-sudangrass seed baits. Conoderus spp. larvae were most numerous in the sorghum-sudangrass seed and corn ear baits. In the second year, M. communis larvae were more numerous in food baits than in soil samples, and more numerous in the oatmeal-corn flake and rolled oat baits than in other food baits. Numbers of Conoderus spp. larvae did not differ between food bait and soil samples nor among food baits. In addition to attracting more wireworms, oatmeal-corn flake and rolled oat baits had some of the shorter processing times. The use of one of these two baits is currently recommended for pre-plant sampling of wireworms in potato fields in southern Florida.
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