The development of Trissolcus basalis for augmentative biological control for Nezara viridula
Abstract: Nezara viridula, the southern green stinkbug, is a polyphagous pest of a variety of
crops, including sweet pepper, aubergine and cucumber. This pest has challenged growers in
the Mediterranean area for many years. In temperate regions, the occurrence is more recent.
The spread from South to North is likely the result of climate change and recent changes in
legislation and consumer demands, resulting in the reduction of pesticide applications in these cropping systems. Many growers resorted to manually removing the bugs, which is laborintensive and inefficient as not all are removed. This results in pest outbreaks that can only be treated chemically – however, this is highly disruptive to biocontrol programs against other pests in the crop. Only now, the available natural enemies controlling N. viridula have been biologically and economically effective. The egg parasitoid Trissolcus basalis is frequently cited as an important natural enemy of N. viridula. At the beginning of 2023, this egg parasitoid became commercially available for repeated mass releases at an economically attractive price. This new product’s development results from an international multi-year project.