A successful method for whitefly and Tuta absoluta control in tomato.Evaluation after two years of application in practice
Abstract: The tobacco whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, and the tomato borer, Tuta absoluta, are majorpests of tomato. The mirid bug Nesidiocoris tenuis is an effective natural enemy of whitefly andrecently it has been shown to be also a potential biological control agent of T. absoluta. Inaddition, some parasitoids from the Mediterranean basin have been found attacking T. absolutaand Necremnus artynes is particularly promising. The present study presents the results fromexperiments conducted to develop a biologically-based management strategy in tomato forwhitefly and T. absoluta control and its application in practice thereafter. It first shows the resultsevaluating an alternative release method for N. tenuis and its combination with N. artynes. It wasdemonstrated that this alternative release method (pre-plant application) increased controlcapacity of N. tenuis, provided good control of whitefly and T. absoluta and reduced control costsand the addition of N. artynes did not increase its effectiveness. Although, supplementaryreleases of this parsite increased the effectiveness of after planting releases of N. tenuis (standarapplication). Thus, the pre-plant application of N. tenuis alone would be the more efficientmethod due to it reduced control costs and complexity. Implementation of this strategy hasgreatly increased the use of biologically-based management strategies in tomato in Spain, andwould likely have the same effect in other production areas around the world.