Effect of bark application with Beauveria bassiana and permethrin insecticide on the walnut twig beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in black walnut bolts
Formulations of entomopathogenic (insect-killing) fungi represent alternatives to synthetic insecticides in the management of forest and shade tree insects. We evaluated bark spray applications of the entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) strain GHA (BotaniGardES), permethrin insecticide (Astro), and water (control) on colonization of black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) (Fagales: Juglandaceae) bolts by the walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis Blackman) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), vector of the fungus that causes thousand cankers disease. Treated bolts were baited with a P. juglandis aggregation pheromone lure and deployed in infested walnut trees. Bark application of permethrin prevented P. juglandis colonization of the phloem. Although treatment of bolts with the B. bassiana suspension did not reduce P. juglandis colonization or short-term emergence relative to the control treatment, it increased the B. bassiana infection rate from 25 to 62% of emerged adults. Results suggest that commercial applications of B. bassiana strain GHA may help augment natural levels of infection by this entomopathogen in the eastern United States, and support continued exploration of entomopathogens for biological control of the walnut twig beetle.