Strategies for release of Neoseiulus (Amblyseius) cucumeristo control western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis,in tunnel grown everbearer strawberries
Abstract: An experiment was undertaken on a commercial strawberry plantation to assess theefficacy of biocontrol of western flower thrips by releases of Neoseiulus (=Amblyseius)cucumeris. Releases were made from Amblyseius breeder system (abs) sachets (Certis BCP) or asloose product. Results showed that releases of N. cucumeris before flowering reduced WFTnumbers in flowers at the beginning of the season and reduced early fruit damage. Multiplereleases of predators significantly reduced numbers of WFT in flowers when the initial releasewas of sachets. All predator release treatments significantly reduced fruit damage compared withthe control treatment on all assessment dates and early sachets plus a second release (eithersachets or loose) significantly increased saleable fruit in early harvests.