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April 14, 2005

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Cathy Thomas, coordinator of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) sector of the state's agriculture program, will visit the biology greenhouse at Bucknell University Friday, April 22, at 10 a.m.

The visit will showcase the greenhouse as a success story in organic insect pest management.

Thomas will be inviting state educational facilitators and guests for an onsite tour of the greenhouse. Flora Eyster, greenhouse manager, will lead the tour and provide informational material on the organic gardening program used in the greenhouse.

"The greenhouse has been cited as a state-wide model program successfully integrating and sustaining an economically low level of actual destructive pests," she said.

According to Eyster, the greenhouse has been operating 100 percent organically with the use of preventative maintenance horticulture over the past five years.

"Bi-weekly predator insects, provided by IPM Labs in Ithaca, N.Y., are released in the greenhouse," she said. "Whitefly, mealy bug, red spider mite and thrips are kept under control in this manner. Nematode soil drenches are used for scale insects.

"The greenhouse has not had one white fly pest in four years. Insect growth regulators, (IGRs), were introduced very successfully in the early phase of the program.

"We are very pleased to host this tour," she said.


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