Mechanical release of Phytoseiulus persimilis and Orius laevigatus on protected crops
Abstract: Mechanical releases of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acarina:Phytoseiidae) and the predatory bug Orius laevigatus (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) were carriedout in cultivated protected crops (sweet pepper and chrysanthemum) to control the two-spottedspider mite Tetranychus urticae and the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis. Naturalenemies were distributed using a newly developed mechanical device and compared with manualdistribution. In all experimental trials carried out with the device the results showed a greateruniformity of distribution, a reduction of release time and ease of application. In most of themechanised plots the predators were regularly recovered reducing the percentage of leavesinfested and their density, so controlling pests sooner than in the manually released ones.