Insecticides and beneficial predators:side effects on Orius spp. on IPM pepper and strawberries


Abstract: The species of the genus Orius (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) are well-known asgeneralist predators able to control thrips outbreaks on different crops, such as pepper andstrawberries. The assessment of the compatibility of various insecticides with predatory activityis a key for the success of IPM strategies, including Orius releases on crops. During 2011,experiments were carried out in Piedmont (northwestern Italy) on four commercial pepper andstrawberry tunnels. Toxicity of the most used insecticides were also evaluated in laboratorybioassays on wild Orius spp. Abamectin, λ-cyhalothrin, and acrinahtrin proved to be notcompatible with these predators, both in field and laboratory experiments. Azadirachtin wasalmost harmless for Orius spp. whereas spinosad induced high levels of mortality in laboratorybioassays but seemed to be safe in field experiments. Etofenprox gave contradictory results in thefield and laboratory experiments, corroborating the need of multiple testing methods in evaluatingthe effects of pesticides on beneficial insects.

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