Good Bug, Bad Bug Identification Using Team Teaching and Live Video Demonstration

Mary E Henry, Lance Osborne, Hugh Smith

Abstract


Arthropods play an important role in production; they may be crucial for pollination or devastating to production, depending on the situation. To help farmers tell the difference, the 2012 Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference featured a “Good Bug, Bad Bug ID” session where 50 farmers got hands-on experience with common pest and beneficial arthropods for vegetables and ornamentals. Microscope stations allowed farmers to look closely at pests and consider commercially available biological controls. Two Extension Specialists simultaneously presented reference information and live images of arthropods under microscope. The session featured an electronic before and after quiz to digitally capture responses. Results of the quiz show twice as many participants were able to identify three of nine beneficial and pest arthropods following the session. More than three-quarters of respondents were able to identify two additional pests and beneficial arthropods than they could before the session. Identifying arthropods is an important skill and the basis for decisions regarding the need for and proper selection of pesticides. Learning about commercially available biological control agents may increase their use.


Keywords


Neoseiulus californicus, Amblyseius swirskii, Encarsia formosa, E. sofia, Phytoseiulus persimilis, Bemisia tabaci, Bemisia argentifolii, Tetranychus urticae, Feltiella acarisuga,beneficial insects, biological control, interactive teaching

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283