Efficacy of a fast acting contact bio insecticide-acaricide of vegetable origin in controlling greenhouse insect pests
Abstract: FLiPPER® is an insecticide-acaricide largely composed of unsaturated carboxylic acids (C14-C20), present in the form of potassium salts. These components act by contact, penetrating the waxy layers and the lipoprotein matrix of the insect cuticle, altering the cell functionality. The insecticide is active on all development stages of many insect and mite pests. The present research was carried out to evaluate the effects of this product in controlling populations of whiteflies (i. e. Bemisia tabaci), aphids (i. e. Aphis gossypii) and mealybugs (i. e. Planococcus citri), well known polyphagous and cosmopolitan pest species, difficult to manage either in field or greenhouse cultivations. Some trials were also conducted to evaluate the impact of the product on populations of their natural enemies. Overall, the results showed the good control performances of the product versus the target species, although in presence of dense colonies, as for P. citri and A. gossypii, some apparent limitations appeared. Moreover, no negative effects were recorded when the treatment has been applied in presence of beneficial organisms. Based on these results – and provided that its use is authorized in organic farming – this insecticide can be effectively included in integrated crop protection programs and used in combination with beneficials (e. g. predators, parasitoids and pollinators), considering its good degree of selectivity, very low toxicity and minimal impact on agroecosystems.