Pest Management Research Grants Awarded 2019

Back to Funded Pest Management Research Grants (2013 - present)

Project Summaries

  • Efficacy of Alternatives to Pyrethroids and Neonicotinoids for Aphid Management in Lettuce

    The overall goal of this project is to promote the reduction and/or elimination of the use of pyrethroid (PYR) and neonicotinoid (NEO) foliar applications in lettuce, while still providing effective and cost-competitive aphid management in this crop. Aphids are the major insect threat to lettuce production in California due to the cosmetic damage they cause, their role as an insect contaminant, and as a virus vector, all of which can reduce marketability and profitability. Aphid management drives most insecticide use in lettuce, which primarily consists of foliar applications of PYRs and NEOs. Unfortunately, these pesticides can move off-site and have been detected in surface water through routine monitoring by DPR. At times, detected levels have exceeded benchmark values. Developing effective alternative tactics and reducing use of these insecticides will directly improve the overall integrated pest management (IPM) program in lettuce. In order to avoid off-target effects on other organisms, alternative tactics will be explored in order to control aphids and improve IPM in lettuce. The project aims to provide efficacy data for alternative approaches, including the use of entomogathogenic fungi and alternative chemistries, and will assess their effects through differing application methods, such as seed coatings and at-planting treatments. Finally, data generated will be combined with economic data evaluating the cost-effectiveness of each option as a whole or partial replacement for spray applications.

    Media contact: Pamela Kan-Rice, Assistant Director - News and Information Outreach, 530-750-1221,

  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Pest Preventive Design Elements Incorporated into 3,495 Affordable Housing Units in San Francisco

    The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Project incorporated pest preventive design and other integrated pest management (IPM) program elements into 3,495 low-income housing sites throughout San Francisco. This project will assess the contributions of the RAD Project in reducing infestations of rodents, cockroaches, and bedbugs in these low-income housing sites. The contributions will be quantified by conducting pest inspections and documenting pest management practices. The general costs, obstacles, and opportunities of installing pest preventive design during low-income housing renovations will be assayed and the long-term financial benefits will be considered. Recommendations will be developed to reduce public health risks from pest infestations and pesticide use, and the results and conclusions of the contribution assessment will be communicated to other multi-unit housing developers, property managers, IPM professionals, and policy makers.

    Media contact: Charles Sheehan, Chief Policy and Public Affairs Officer, 415-355-3700,

  • Develop biological control solutions for the management of canker diseases in the fruit and nut crops

    The goal of this project is to develop effective biological control solutions that will mitigate the use of toxic chemical fungicides, such as Thiophanate-Methyl and Myclobutanil, and enhance IPM practices in the fruit and nut crops in California. Preliminary research in almond has revealed good-to-excellent efficacy of various commercial formulations of Trichoderma biocontrol agents to control canker diseases. Trichoderma-based products also have demonstrated ease-of-use in comparison to paint or sealant-based products, which make them more attractive to growers. This project will establish multiple field trials in almond, grapevine, and sweet cherry orchards to evaluate, and ultimately demonstrate the efficacy of, various biological products in preventing pruning wound infection by multiple canker pathogens. Experiments will be set in the field to mimic current cultural practices employed by farmers. Biological control solutions, such as Trichoderma, will help decrease the dependency on chemical fungicides by providing new alternatives that are effective, safe, and environmentally-friendly. The project’s outcomes will be delivered to stakeholders. Additionally, biocontrol alternatives will be promoted through publications and talks given at grower meetings as part of the missions of the University of California Cooperative Extension.

    Media contact: Florent Trouillas, Principal Investigator, 559-646-6566,

For content questions, contact:
Jordan Weibel
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015

John Gerlach
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 445-3909