Funded Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos Research Grants (2019 - present)

Back to Pest Management Grants Program

Link to Project Summary Organization/Project Lead Award Year Project Type Award Amount

A Sustainable Boric Acid Liquid Bait Delivery System (as alternative to chlorpyrifos sprays) for the Management of Pest Ants in Agricultural Settings


UC Riverside
Dong-Hwan Choe
2020-2021 Ag $340,467

Hydrogel Baiting Systems for Sugar-feeding Ants in California Grapes and Citrus


UC Cooperative Extension,
Kern County
David Haviland
2020-2021 Ag $500,000

Taking Chlorpyrifos out of Citrus: Maximizing IPM of Argentine Ant and Sap Sucking Pests with Biodegradable Hydrogels, Infra-Red Sensors, and Cover Crop


UC Riverside
Mark Hoddle
2020-2021 Ag $500,000

Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos for Sugarbeet Production in the Imperial Valley


UC Davis
Stephen Kaffka
2020-2021 Ag $408,263

Efficacy and Optimal Use of Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos for Aphid and Whitefly Management in Cotton


UC Davis
Ian Grettenberger
2020-2021 Ag $373,477

Predictive Models of Pesticide Exposure and Impacts on Bees


UC Davis
Neal Williams
2019-2020 Ag $214,452

Project Summaries

A Sustainable Boric Acid Liquid Bait Delivery System (as alternative to chlorpyrifos sprays) for the Management of Pest Ants in Agricultural Settings
Dr. Dong-Hwan Choe
Funding totals: $340,467

The Argentine ant indirectly impacts fruit in citrus orchards and grape vineyards by tending to and protecting harmful insect species, such as scale-forming insects and honeydew-producing mealybugs, resulting in yield and quality losses. The Argentine ant’s tending and protecting activities reduce the effectiveness of many control options. Argentine ants are especially detrimental to control options that focus on the use of natural predators to control harmful insect species. Until very recently, growers used chlorpyrifos to control both the ants and the harmful insect species.

This project will study both an alternative active ingredient, boric acid, and a unique delivery system of alginate sugar-baited beads to control Argentine ants. The use of this particular bead formulation will broaden the potential uses of bead technology to include organic growers, as well as conventional growers. The study will also examine large-scale alginate bead production practices to ensure that alginate beads will be economically feasible for growers. Various aspects of bead production and optimization will also be evaluated such as preservatives, bait strength, and shelf-life stability.

Media: Jules Bernstein - 951-827-4580 - julia.bernstein@ucr.edu

Hydrogel Baiting Systems for Sugar-feeding Ants in California Grapes and Citrus
Mr. David Haviland
Funding totals: $500,000

The Argentine ant indirectly impacts fruit in citrus orchards and grape vineyards by tending to and protecting harmful insect species, such as scale-forming insects and honeydew-producing mealybugs, resulting in yield and quality losses. The Argentine ant’s tending and protecting activities reduce the effectiveness of many control options. Argentine ants are especially detrimental to control options that focus on the use of natural predators to control harmful insect species. Until very recently, growers used chlorpyrifos to control both the ants and the harmful insect species.

This project will evaluate eight active ingredients, at a range of concentrations, using a delivery system of polyacrylamide gel beads. Bait attractiveness will also be assessed. The overall goal is to optimize the concentrations of the bait formulation, the bead application rate, and the frequency and timing of bead applications. Off-target effects on European honey bee will also be studied. The team will extend the results to growers and Pest Control Advisers through the University of California’s Cooperative Extension outreach efforts.

Media: Pamela Kan-Rice - 530-750-1221 - pam.kanrice@ucanr.edu

Taking Chlorpyrifos out of Citrus: Maximizing IPM of Argentine Ant and Sap Sucking Pests with Biodegradable Hydrogels, Infra-Red Sensors, and Cover Crop
Dr. Mark Hoddle
Funding totals: $500,000

The Argentine ant indirectly impacts fruit in citrus orchards and grape vineyards by tending to and protecting harmful insect species, such as scale-forming insects and honeydew-producing mealybugs, resulting in yield and quality losses. The Argentine ant’s tending and protecting activities reduce the effectiveness of many control options. Argentine ants are especially detrimental to control options that focus on the use of natural predators to control harmful insect species. Until very recently, growers used chlorpyrifos to control both the ants and the harmful insect species.

This study will screen eight active ingredients using a delivery system of alginate hydrogel beads in laboratory experiments. The three most effective active ingredients will be tested in field experiments where control options that increase the populations of natural pest predators, such as hoverfly, will be tested in combination with the alginate hydrogel bead experiments. Building off previous Department of Pesticide Regulation-funded work by this team, infrared sensors and a cloud-based computing system will be used to measure the population sizes of the ants and how the populations respond to a variety of integrated pest management practices. Promising integrated pest management strategies will be extended via the University of California’s Cooperative Extension outreach efforts.

Media: Jules Bernstein – 951-827-4580 - julia.bernstein@ucr.edu or Igbal Pittalwala - 951-827-6050 - igbal.pittalwala@ucr.edu

Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos for Sugarbeet Production in the Imperial Valley
Dr. Stephen Kaffka
Funding totals: $408,263

Imperial Valley sugarbeet production previously used chlorpyrifos to control pests of concern at various sugarbeet plant life stages, specifically striped flea beetle, beet armyworm, and whitefly. This study will assess the economic viability of alternate pest management options including replacement active ingredients, such as cyfluthrin and spinosad, as well as cultural practices, such as pre-irrigation and early and late planting. The experiments will be conducted at three time points: planting, stand establishment, and harvest to assess impacts of each pest of concern. The study will be conducted in UC research station fields and grower fields where detailed control costs and crop returns, based on yield and quality, can provide data for a complete economic analysis. The findings will be used to revise California sugarbeet production integrated pest management guidelines.

Media: Dr. Stephen Kaffka - 530-752-8108 - srkaffka@ucdavis.edu

Efficacy and Optimal Use of Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos for Aphid and Whitefly Management in Cotton
Dr. Ian Grettenberger
Funding totals: $373,477

Whitefly and aphid infestations plague cotton production in California. In addition to the direct feeding damage they cause to the plants, sugary substances secreted from these insects also cause the cotton fibers to become sticky, causing significant problems in fiber processing. Traditionally, cotton growers have relied on chlorpyrifos to broadly control these and other insect pests. This project will test many newly registered or soon-to-be available products for their control efficacy over a range of spray parameters, application rates, and frequencies. The results will be used to update the integrated pest management guidelines for cotton.

Media: Kathy Keatly Garvey - 530-754-6894 - kegarvey@ucdavis.edu or Pamela Kan-Rice - 530-750-1221 - pam.kanrice@ucanr.edu

Predictive Models of Pesticide Exposure and Impacts on Bees
Dr. Neal Williams
Funding totals: $214,452

While the effects of pesticide toxicity on wild bees is a growing area of research, little work has been done to extend that knowledge by developing decision support tools to protect domesticated European honey bees. This study aims to establish the toxicity of pesticides to honeybees, including chlorpyrifos, based on data from DPR’s PUR database; adapt wild bee foraging models to the European honeybee; and produce spatial and temporal maps of the relative toxicity of farming landscapes to the European honeybee. Incorporated into this modeling effort will be flowering periods for native and agricultural plant species, geographical and topographical data, and climatological data. The models produced by this study will ideally be adopted as decision support tools to aid integrated pest management decision making.

Media: Kathy Keatly Garvey - 530-754-6894 - kegarvey@ucdavis.edu




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Jordan Weibel
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
E-mail: Jordan.Weibel@cdpr.ca.gov