BACKGROUND: The spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, is the major strawberry pest in Brazil. The main strategies for its control comprise synthetic acaricides and predatory mites. The recent register of a commercial formula of azadirachtin (Azamax® 12 g L−1) can be viable for control of T. urticae. In this work, the effects of azadirachtin on T. urticae and its compatibility with predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus and Phytoseiulus macropilis in the strawberry crop were evaluated.
RESULTS: Azadirachtin was efficient against T. urticae, with a mortality rate similar to that of abamectin. In addition, the azadirachtin showed lower biological persistence (7 days) than abamectin (21 days). Azadirachtin did not cause significant mortality of adult predatory mites (N. californicus and P. macropilis), but it did reduce fecundity by 50%. However, egg viability of the azadirachtin treatments was similar to that of the control (>80% viability). The use of azadirachtin and predatory mites is a valuable tool for controlling T. urticae in strawberry crop.
CONCLUSIONS: Azadirachtin provided effective control of T. urticae and is compatible with the predatory mites N. californicus and P. macropilis. It is an excellent tool to be incorporated into integrated pest management for strawberry crop in Brazil. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry