NYSIPM’s vegetable specialists are conducting innovative research designed to mitigate these challenges. Our research is examining whether beneficial nematodes and fungi, applied directly to soil, can reduce striped cucumber beetle populations by killing the larvae feeding on plant roots. If successful, this approach could be combined with perimeter trap cropping—a technique in which a variety of squash attractive to adult beetles is used to deter the pests from feeding on crops being grown for harvest—and concentrate egg-laying and larvae to be targeted by the beneficial nematodes and fungi, reducing the area needing to be treated.
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