Entomopathogenic fungi as control agents for Drosophila suzukii
Abstract: An integrated strategic approach to the control can be the most effective and ecologically sustainable solution against Drosophila suzukii – spotted wing drosophila (SWD) – infestation. The only use of conventional pesticides can be very disruptive to natural enemies; therefore, there is the need to screen for potential biological control agents for SWD. So the efficacy of organic labelled products, based on entomopathogenic fungi, was evaluated for controlling the pest. Quite promising results were obtained with Metarhizium anisopliae, an entomopathogenic fungus that caused, in the laboratory, a mortality of more than 80% on SWD adults and around 60% on SWD preimaginal stages in direct toxicity trials. Given that this biopesticide has shown a certain slowness of action and a limited control of pest populations, its use in the field can make sense in integrated pest management strategies, when climatic conditions are suitable and the density of insect population is not too high.