Exclusion and Repulsion of Popillia japonica (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) Using Selected Coverings on High Tunnel Structures for Primocane Red Raspberry

Insects. 2022 Aug 26;13(9):771. doi: 10.3390/insects13090771.


In temperate climates, there has been an increasing interest by fruit growers to implement the use of high tunnels, using a variety of coverings, to extend the season for fruit production. High tunnels also provide an opportunity to enhance insect pest management, via physical exclusion, and thus support reductions in insecticide use. Due to increasing pest pressure by the Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica Newman, in Midwest U.S. raspberry, a 3-year study (2017−2019) was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of selected high tunnel coverings to suppress adult beetle populations and minimize adult feeding injury. During each year of the study, P. japonica adult beetles were significantly reduced under poly-based coverings, with the ends open, and when a fine, nylon-mesh was used to cover the ends (p < 0.05). The poly-based covering also resulted in moderately higher ambient temperatures, which may have influenced beetle movement, including a “repellency effect” that encouraged beetles to exit the high tunnel structures. Although P. japonica adults are known to feed on raspberry flower clusters, including fruit, the majority (73−92%) of beetle feeding in this study was observed on the foliage. The impact of high tunnels on P. japonica are discussed within the context of developing sustainable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs for raspberry production.

Keywords: high tunnels; integrated pest management (IPM); pest exclusion; raspberry.