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Keywords:

  • biological control;
  • predatory mites;
  • Amblydromalus limonicus;
  • Typhlodromips montdorensis;
  • Amblyseius swirskii;
  • Trialeurodes vaporariorum

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Within integrated pest control programmes, the use of high mite inoculations to control hot spots of whitefly is desirable for many growers. In this experiment, two species of predatory mites established as commercial biological control agents, Typhlodromips montdorensis and Amblyseius swirskii (Acari: Phytoseiidae), were compared with another, more recently introduced species, Amblydromalus limonicus, for their ability to control dense populations of greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) on cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus).

RESULTS

Mite formulation type had a significant effect on the number of mites found on plants, but this did not correspond to increased whitefly control. Plots treated with A. limonicus or T. montdorensis, applied as loose product, had significantly reduced whitefly populations throughout the trial. Analysis showed that no species was observed more often on leaves with higher whitefly densities than on those with lower densities.

CONCLUSION

No species was clearly identified as a suitable candidate for treatment of high-density whitefly colonies, but results suggest the highest level of predation in A. limonicus. Strategies for the effective use of these predatory mite species in control programmes are discussed. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry