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Biological control of the Spotted wing Drosophila – Drosophila suzukii

Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), a fruit fly from East Asia, is now a serious economic pest of soft fruits and berries across Europe, the Americas and North Africa. In this project we are focusing on finding natural enemies (parasitoids) of the pest to introduce into Europe. This involves surveys for parasitoids where it originated and experiments in quarantine in Switzerland to investigate their taxonomy, performance and specificity.

Beneficial nematodes to control rootworms in European maize production

The western corn rootworm is a major invasive maize pest in North America and Europe. Control options become more and more limited as problematic pesticides are being phased out. 10 years of joint efforts in research and development by academic, legislative and commercial partners have led to a nematode-based biological control solution for this destructive maize pest. Mass-produced beneficial nematodes Heterorhabditis bacteriophora are now available as a commercial product.

Research, rearing and collection services on corn rootworms

The western corn rootworm is a destructive pest of maize. Most damage is caused by larvae feeding on the roots, which becomes apparent when plants lodge. Drawing on some 15 yearS experience as a research and development partner on corn rootworms, CABI has become a key service provider for field surveys, laboratory and field research on basic ecology and management of the pest, rearing including supplying eggs for research, and writing support.

Insects as a source of protein

Global demand for animal-sourced foods is accelerating. Fishmeal and crops such as soya are key ingredients in animal feeds but are not ecologically or economically sustainable. Insect protein presents a viable alternative. The PROTEINSECT project is exploring fly larva (maggots), which are nutritious and can be mass produced at low cost, as animal feed. It will develop and optimize maggot production systems, determine safety and quality criteria and evaluate the performance of protein extracts.

Biological control of brown marmorated stink bug

International trade is a common way for insects to ‘hitch-hike’ their way to new countries. The brown marmorated stink bug, originally from East Asia, has become a harmful invasive pest of many fruit and vegetable crops in North America and Europe. Biological control using Asian or European natural enemies may be an environmentally friendly, cost-effective and sustainable way of managing the pest. CABI is drawing on its network of expertise in Europe and China to explore best options.