Monosteira unicostata is an important pest of almond tree in the Mediterranean region requiring control methods alternative to synthetic pesticides. The efficacy of kaolin, azadirachtin and potassium salts of fatty acids combined with thyme essential oil against adults and fourth instar nymphs of this tingid was evaluated in laboratory assays.
In no choice assays with adults, kaolin significantly increased mortality compared to control (42.7% versus 23.8%) and reduced the oviposition of females (11.8 versus 35.3 eggs), the feeding activity (169.6 versus 471.2 excrements) and the damage caused (1.1 versus 2.3 damage index). In choice assays with adults, the repellence index calculated for kaolin (48.2%) was significantly higher compared to control (−15.3%), resulting in oviposition, feeding and damage deterrence indices also significantly higher than the control. In no choice assays with nymphs, all products increased mortality and reduced the feeding activity and the damage caused on leaves. Potassium soap with thyme essential oil and azadirachtin were the most effective compounds (98.0% and 97.6% mortality versus 13.3% control mortality, respectively).
The products tested have shown high and different efficacy on nymphs and adults of Monosteira unicostata. This activity might be suitable for the practical application of these compounds to control its populations under real field conditions. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry