Regulatory Control of Potato Tuber Worm

Potato tuber worms (Phthorimaea operculella) infestations of potatoes during storage have been studied (see reference list). They often infest potatoes in the field and can reproduce and cause extensive damage during storage. Reported damage during storage was 50% in Peru and Yemen, 86% in Algeria, Tunisia and Turkey, 90% in Kenya and 100% in India and Philippines (Alvarez et al. 2005). Expansion of the geographical range of the pest often is a result of marketing infested potatoes but adults can fly 0.15 miles between fields. Potato tuber worm is known to infest tomatoes, egg plant, peppers, tobacco and 60 other species of host plants in addition to potatoes. By 1917, this species was known to be established on potatoes in six states (California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Texas), was known to be established on other hosts in another five states (Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia) and had been found but not established in seven states (Kansas, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin) (Graf 1917).

Potato tuber worm infestations in Maryland near the Virginia border were found from 1923 to 1925 and methods were developed for managing the pest (Cory and Saunders 1926). Cull potatoes were important in carrying over the pest from one crop to the next.

In 1939, a single bin of 125 bushels of potatoes in Nebraska was found to be infested with potato tuber worm, but potatoes were used or destroyed and no additional near by infestations were found (Tate 1943). In 1940, this pest was found on growing plants in the field and culls elsewhere in Nebraska and in spring of 1942 the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine surveyed 75 potato fields and other hosts and found only a single potato tuber worm. Tate also reported that potato tuber worm had been found but not established in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. He speculated that they were imported with potatoes from western seed producing areas.

In 1942, Kansas limited its quarantine to California, Hawaii, Louisiana and Texas (Anon. 1942). In 1966, potato tuber worms were found in potato stored at a potato chip factory in Iowa and eliminated by fumigation (Morford 1966). In 1972, Michigan declared quarantine restricting movement of potato tuber worm infested potatoes, their associated containers and vehicles within the State of Michigan (Ball 1972).

The potato tuber worm illustrates the relation between commercial interest in keeping market share and the need to use quarantine or fumigation to prevent the expansion of the geographic range of a pest species (Mackie 1932). In 1919, Canada and Idaho had an embargo on California potatoes, Oregon and Washington had inspectors certify that the potatoes were free of infestation at point of origin prior to shipment and Montana, Utah and Colorado inspected potatoes upon arrival. By 1931, California had developed fumigation methods that allowed them to certify that potatoes were free of potato tuber worm and they were shipping potatoes as far east as Kansas City and as far north as Winnipeg, Canada. Potato tuber worm became a serious problem in Oregon, Washington and Idaho from 2002 to 2005 (Alvarez et al. 2005, Rondon et al. 2007) and action plans have been developed (Anon. 2006).

 

Abdel-Salam, A. M.; Assem, M. A.; Hammad, S. M.; Eid, G. H. 1972. Studies on potato pests in UAR. II. Susceptibility of some potato varieties to insect infestation in the field and in storage. Z. Angew. Entomol. 70(1): 76-82.

Abdel-Salam, A. M.; Assem, M. A.; Yousef, K. H. 1972. Studies on potato pests in UAR. III. Effect of some insecticides on the potato tuber worm in the field and storage. Z. Angew. Entomol. 70(2): 157-160.

Alvarez, Juan Manuel, Eric Dotseth and Phil Nolte. 2005. Potato Tuberworm A Threat for Idaho Potatoes. Univ. Idaho CIS 1125. http://www.agri.state.id.us/Categories/PlantsInsects/RegulatedAndInvasiveInsects/Documents/UofIPTWCIS1125.pdf

Anonymous. 1943. Potato tuber moth quarantine. J. Econ. Entomol. 36: 623.

Anonymous. 1981. Data sheet on quarantine organisms. Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae. Euopean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) Bulletin 11:1-6.

Anonymous. 2006. Draft Action Plan for the Potato Tuberworm (Pthorimaea operculella) PTW in Idaho for the 2006 Growing Season.  http://www.agri.state.id.us/Categories/PlantsInsects/RegulatedAndInvasiveInsects/Documents/PTW%20Action%20Plan%2005.31.06.pdf

Ball, B. Dale. 1972. Potato tuberworm intrastate quarantine. https://michigan.gov/documents/MDA_Potato_Tuberworm_Intrastate_Quarantine_97328_7.pdf

Bacon, O. G. 1960. Control of the potato tuberworm in potatoes. J. Econ. Entomol. 53: 868-871.

Bacon, O.G., J.N. Seiber, and G.G. Kennedy. 1976. Evaluation of survey trapping techniques for potato tuberworm moths (Phthorimaea operculella) with chemical baited traps. J. Econ. Entomol. 69: 569–572.

Briese, D. T. 1986. Geographic variability in demographic performance of the potato moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in Australia. Bull. Entomol. Res. 76: 719-726.

Cameron, P.J., G.P. Walker, G.M. Penny, and P.J. Wingley. 2002. Movement of potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) within and between crops, and some comparisions with diamonback moth (Lepidoptera: Pluteliidae). Environ. Entomol. 31: 65–75.

Chittenden, F.H. 1912. The potato tuber moth (Phthorimaea operculella Zeller). USDA Bureau Entomol. Circ. 162

Chittenden, F.H. 1913. The potato tubermoth. USDA Farmer’s Bulletin 557

Clark, W. T. 1901. The potato-worm in California (Gelechia operculella Zeller). Calif. Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull. 135

Clough, G. H.; Rondon, S. I.; Debano, S. J.; David, N.; Hamm, P. B. 2010. Reducing tuber damage by potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) with cultural pactices and insecticides. J. Econ. Entomol.  103: 1306-1311.

Cory, Ernest N. and P. D. Saunders. 1926. Status of the potato tuber moth in Maryland. J. Econ. Entomol. 19: 235-239.

DeBano, S. J.; Hamm, P. B.; Jensen, A.; Rondon, S. I.; Landolt, P. J. 2010 Spatial and temporal dynamics of potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in the Columbia Basin of the Pacific Northwest. Environ. Entomol. 39: 1-14. (In 2002, potato tuberworm was found in Columbia Basin of Oregon and Washington.  By 2003, potatoes from several fields were rejected by processors or fresh packers because of tuber damage. Since 2003, potato tuberworm has cost growers in the ColumbiaBasin millions of dollars through increased pesticide application and unmarketable potatoes.)

Debnath, M. C., J. N. Khound, S. K. Dutta, and P. C. Sarmah. 1998. Management of potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) in potato storage. J. Agric. Sci. Soc. North East In­dia 11: 55-60.

Douches, D.S., W. Pett, F. Santos, J. Coombs, E. Grafius, E.A.W.L. Metry, T.N. El-Din, and M. Madkour. 2004. Field and storage testing Bt potatoes for resistance to potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 1425–1431.

Farrag, R.M. 1998. Control of the potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella Zeller (Lepidoptera Gelechiidae) at storage. Egyptian Journal of Agricultural Research 76: 947–952.

Gilboa, S., and H. Podoler. 1995. Presence-absence sequentials sampling for potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) on processing tomatoes: selection of sample sites according to predictable seasonal trends. Journal of Economic Entomology 88: 1332–1336.

Gomaa, A. E., and H. M. El-Nenaey. 2006. Evaluation of certain control­ling measures for Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidop­tera, Gelechiidae) on potato in stores. Egyptian J. Agric. Res. 84:31-41.

Graft, J.E. 1917. The potato tubermoth. Tech. Bull. USDA 427.

Haines, C.P. 1977. The potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller): a bibliography of recent literature and a review of its biology and control on potatoes in the field and in store. Rep. Tropical Products Institute G112, 3: 15.

Hamilton, J.T., and J.A. Macdonald. 1990. Control of potato moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) in stored seed potatoes. General and Applied Entomology 22: 3–6.

Hanafi, A. 1999. Integrated pest management of potato tuber moth in field and storage. Potato Research 42: 373–380.

Hanafi, A. 2005. Integrated management of potato tuber moth in field and storage. p. 203-210. in Haverkort, A. J. and P. C. Struik eds. Potato in progress: science meets practice. 

Helson, G. A. H. 1942. Inert mineral dusts as a means of control for potato moths, Phthorimaea operculella Zell. in stored potato. Australia Council Sci. and Industr. Res. J. 15:257-261.

Hofmaster, R. N. 1948. Biology and control of potato tuber-moth with special reference to East Virginia. Va Truck Exp Stn Bull., 111: 1826-1882.

Howard, L. O. 1899. The tobacco leaf-miner or “split worm” (Gelechia solanella Boisd.). USDA Yearbook 1998. p. 137-140.

Herman, T.J.B., J. R. Clearwater, and C. M. Triggs. 2005. Impact of pheromone trap design, placement and pheromone blend on catch of potato tuber moth. N. Z. Plant Protect. 58: 219-223.

Hunter, D. K. et al. 1975. Observations on a granulosis virus of the potato tuberworm, Phthorimaea operculella. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 26: 397-400.

Islam, M.N., M.A. Karim, and Z. Nessa. 1990. Control of the potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in the storehouses for seed and ware potatoes in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Zoology 18: 41–52.

Jensen, A., S. J. DeBano, N. David, M. Martin, and D. Batchelor. 2005. Tuber moth survey, April 2005. Potato Prog. 5: 1-2.

Jensen, A., P. Hamm, A. Schreiber, and S. DeBano. 2005. Prepare for tuber moth in 2005. Potato Progress. 5: 1-4.

Keasar, Tamar; Kalish, Adi; Becher, Ori; Steinberg, Shimon. 2005. Spatial and temporal dynamics of potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) infested in field-stored potatoes. J. Econ. Entomol. 98: 222-228

Kotinsky, J. 1906. The tobacco splitworm, an enemy of tomato, eggplant, and poha in Hawaii. Phthorimaea operculella, Zell. Hawaii Forester and Agr. 3(7): 200-201.

Kroschel, J. and W. Koch. 1996. Studies on the use of chemicals, botanicals and Bacillus thuringiensis in the management of the potato tuber moth in potato stores. Crop Protection 15: 197–203.

Langford, George S. 1933. Observations on cultural practices for the control of the potato tuberworm, Pthtorimaea operculella (Zell.). J. Econ. Entomol. 26: 135-137.

Langford, George S. 1934. Winter survival of the potato tuber moth Phthorimaea operculella Zell. J. Econ. Entomol. 27: 210-213

Mackie, D. B. 1932. Marketing California’s early potato crop, an example of quarantine entomology. J. Econ. Entomol. 25: 457-461.

Mandour, N. S., A. Sarhan, M. Ghanem, and D. Atwa. 2009. Effect of certain bioinsecticides on the infestation rate and biologi­cal aspects of Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in store. Agric. Res. J., Suez CanalUniversity 9: 109-116.

McCarthy, G. 1897. A new tobacco pest. North Carolina Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull. 141.

Medina, R. F., S. I. Rondon, S. M. Reyna and A. M. Dickey. 2010. Population structlure of Phthorimaea operculella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in the United States. Environ. Entomol. 39: 1037-1042. (Two distinct populations in the United States, one mostly western and the other mostly eastern United States)

Morford, M. 1966. How we controlled tobacco tuberworm in a chip factory. Pest Control 34(4): 24-26, 62.

Nirula, K.K., and R. Kumar. 1964. Control of potato tuber-moth in country stores. Indian Potato Journal 6: 30–33.

Poos, F. W., and H. S. Peters. 1927. The potato tuber worm. Virginia Truck Expt. Sta. Bull. 61 .

Raman, K. V., and R. H. Booth. 1983. Evaluation and technology for integrated control of potato tuber moth in field and storage. Technology evaluation series no. 10. InternationalPotatoCenter (CIP), Lima, Peru.

Rondon, S.I., P.B. Hamm, and A. Jensen. 2006. Population dynamics of the potato tubermoth in eastern Washington/Oregon. Potato Progress 6(9).

Rondon, S.I., S.J. DeBano, G.H. Clough, P.B. Hamm, A. Jensen, A. Schreiber, J.M. Alvarez, M. Thornton, J. Barbour, and M. Dŏgramaci. 2007. Biology and management of the potato tuberworm in the Pacific Northwest. PNW 594. http://www.agri.idaho.gov/Categories/PlantsInsects/RegulatedAndInvasiveInsects/Documents/PTW%20by%20Rondon%20et%20al%203_31_07.pdf

Rondon, S. 2010. The potato tuberworm: a literature review of its biology, ecology, and control. Am J Potato Res 87: 149–166.

Roux, O., R. Vonarx and J. Baumgartner. 1992. Estimating potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) damage in stored potatoes in Tunisia. J. Econ. Entomol. 85: 2246–2250.

Schlupp, W. F. 1917. The potato tuber moth. Union of South Africa Agric. Bull. 4

Shelton, A. M. and J. A. Wyman 1980. Postharvest potato tuberworm population levels in cull and volunteer potatoes, and means for control. J. Econ. Entomol. 73: 8-11

Shepherd, R. C. H. and B. R. Champ. 1965. Protection of stored potato tubers against Pthorimaea operculella (Zell.) Queensland J. Agric. Anim. Sci. 22(4): 519-522.

Spencer, P. H., and W. D. Strong. 1925. The potato tuber worm history in Virginia. Bulletin of the Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station 53: 419-462. (USDA Insect Pest Survey on November 15, 1923 reported potato tuber worm in whole of Norhampton County and the southern part of Accomae County. Federal Horticulture Board was asked for a quarantine but declined based upon tobacco spitworm being widely distributed on tobacco in Eastern and Southern states. Several infested barrels of seed potato were found in Norfolk and growers asked State Crop Pest Commission to prohibit movement of infested potatoes and order was put into effect December 1923.)

Sporleder, M., J. Kroschel, M.R.G. Quispe, and A. Lagnaoui. 2004. A temperature-based simulation model for the potato tuberworm, Phthorimaea operculella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Environmental Entomology 33: 477–486.

Tamhankar, A.J., and M.R. Harwalkar. 1994. Comparision of a dry and a water trap for monitoring potato tubermoth, Phthorimaea operculella Zeller. Entomology 19: 163–165.

Tate, Douglas H. 1943. The occurrence of the potato tuber worm in Nebraska. J. Econ. Entomol. 36(1): 120-121.

Trivedi, T. P., D. Rajagopal, and P. L. Tandon. 1994. Spatial distribution and sampling technique of the potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in field and storage. Ann. Entomol. 12:69-70.

Underhill, G. W. 1926. Studies of potato tuber moth during the winter of 1925-26. Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va. Exp. Sta. Bull. No. 251.

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