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Lime sulfur toxicity to broad mite, to its host plants and to natural enemies


Correspondence to: Madelaine Venzon, Agriculture and Livestock Research

Enterprise of Minas Gerais (EPAMIG), Vila Gianetti 46, 36570–000, Viçosa,

Minas Gerais, Brazil. E-mail:



An acaricidal effect of lime sulfur has not been demonstrated for Polyphagotarsonemus latus. However, lime sulfur can cause toxicity to natural enemies and to host plants. In this study, the toxicity of different concentrations of lime sulfur to P. latus, to the predatory mite Amblyseius herbicolus and to the predatory insect Chrysoperla externa was evaluated. Additionally, the phytotoxicity of lime sulfur to two P. latus hosts, chili pepper and physic nut plants, was determined.


Lime sulfur at a concentration of 9.5 mL L−1 restrained P. latus population growth. However, this concentration was deleterious to natural enemies. The predatory mite A. herbicolus showed a negative value of instantaneous growth rate, and only 50% of the tested larvae of C. externa reached adulthood when exposed to 10 mL L−1. Physic nut had severe injury symptoms when sprayed with all tested lime sulfur concentrations. For chili pepper plants, no phytoxicity was observed at any tested concentration.


Lime sulfur might be used for P. latus control on chili pepper but not on physic nut owing to phytotoxicity. Care should be taken when using lime sulfur in view of negative effects on natural enemies. Selective lime sulfur concentration integrated with other management tactics may provide an effective and sustainable P. latus control on chili pepper. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry