Determining critical factors impacting fungus gnat (Lycoriella spp.) colony survival

Grace Sward
Graduate (PhD)
Luis Canas

Authors: Grace Sward, Valerie Anderson, Christopher Ranger, Luis Cañas
Oyster mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus, are the second most cultivated mushroom after the Agaricus white button mushroom in the United States. Mushrooms are a beneficial food source for humans and also utilize agricultural byproducts making their production environmentally friendly. However, mushroom production is being threatened by the dark winged fungus gnat in the genus Lycoriella. Damage from this pest can be devastating to mushroom yields. At present, there is little research in managing pests in oyster mushroom farm pest management. The first step for such research to occur in is to develop a healthy fungus gnat colony. Here we elucidated the necessary humidity requirements to maintain a colony necessary for research. We tested a low and high relative humidity at 60% and 80% respectively. Numbers of adult emergence was recorded each day. The higher humidity levels produced significantly higher numbers of adults than the lower humidity. Armed with this knowledge, we can begin to answer the critical questions growers have and provide them with accurate recommendations for controlling pests on their farms.