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Slug Ecology And Management In No-Till Field Crops

March 15, 2012

As acreage of row crops managed with conservation tillage increases, more growers are encountering slugs, elevating their importance as crop pests. Slugs can eat virtually all crops, and they are challenging to control because of the limited number of management tactics that are available.

In “Slug (Mollusca: Agriolimacidae, Arionidae) Ecology and Management in No-Till Field Crops, With an Emphasis on the mid-Atlantic Region,” a free, open-access article appearing in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, the authors discuss the species of slugs that are commonly found in mid-Atlantic field crop production and discuss their natural history, ecology, and some of the factors limiting their populations.

The authors also suggest possible cultural, biological, and chemical management options, particularly for corn production, and they suggest elements of a potential integrated management program for slugs.

Over 15 slug species occur in the mid-Atlantic United States, but only four appear to be common in field crops.

The authors provide photos and descriptions of all four to make identification and management easier for growers, and they describe their life cycles as well.

Host plant species, scouting methods, environmental influences, natural enemies, biocontrol options, and management options are also discussed.

The Journal of Integrated Pest Management  is an open-access, peer-reviewed, extension journal covering the field of integrated pest management. The intended readership for the journal is any professional who is engaged in any aspect of integrated pest management, including, but not limited to, crop producers, individuals working in crop protection, retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of pest management products, educators, and pest control operators.

JIPM is published by the Entomological Society of America (ESA), the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 6,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are students, researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, and hobbyists. For more information, please visit http://www.entsoc.org.

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