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Pest suppression with Wormcast ~ Pro

Latest research findings from Professor Clive Edwards, Ohio State University.

Research programme. Ohio State University

  • Professor Clive Edwards Soil Ecology OSU
  • He is the leading world expert on earthworms and vermicomposting
  • Moved to USA from senior research post at Rothamsted Research Station, Harpenden
  • Acts as consultant for ORM Professional Products
  • Prof Edwards chaired the USDA Compost Tea Report Task Force

Research programme.at OSU underpins our products

  • Research scientists use the generic name vermicompost for earthworm processed organic matter
  • and vermicompost tea a liquid extraction of vermicompost
  • ORM Professional Products have developed a range of products for professional growers
    • Wormcast ~ Pro solid growing media addition
    • Wormcast Pro ~ Tea liquid biostimulant

Wormcast ~ Pro Pest suppression

  • Extensive glasshouse experiments on the effects of vermicompost mixes on populations of economically important pests were carried out at OSU in 2005 and the results reported in the scientific literature in 2006.
  • A range of crop plant subjects were grown in mixes of standard potting compost and vermicompost supplied with all necessary nutrients.
  • Infestations of two-spotted spider mites, aphids and mealy bugs were introduced.
  • Damage and population numbers were assessed over a number of weeks
  • Additional observations were made with cabbage white butterfly caterpillar damage and cucumber beetle

Effects of vermicomposts on arthropod pests

  • Sucking pests
    • Aphids
    • Mealy bugs
    • Two spotted spider mites
  • Chewing insects
    • Caterpillars
    • Beetles
Insect Suppression

Cabbage white butterfly caterpillars.and cucumber beetles

Insect Suppression

Suppression of two-spotted spider mites by addition of vermicompost

Insect Suppression Insect Suppression

10% vermicompost suppressed two-spotted spider mites significantly

Insect Suppression

Vermicompost significantly suppressed two-spotted mites over time

Insect Suppression

Vermicompost suppressed aphid reproduction on cabbage

Insect Suppression

Significantly reduced aphids on peppers too

Insect Suppression

Aphid damage to cabbages significantly reduced by addition of vermicompost

Insect Suppression

20% vermicompost significantly reduced mealy bug numbers on peppers

Insect Suppression

Significant suppression of mealy bug reproduction with vermicompost

Insect Suppression

Possible mechanism for pest suppression by vermicompost

  • Vermicompost causes plants to become less palatable to sucking pests
  • Vermicompost makes nutrients like nitrogen more available and in different forms this may effect pest feeding behaviour; i.e. they taste horrid!

Conclusion

  • Vermicompost had suppressive effects on major horticultural pests
  • Vermicomposts significantly decreased pest damage
  • Not only did the vermicomposts make the plants less attractive to the pests but they also had considerable effects on pest reproduction over time!