Use of Amblyseius swirskii and banker-plant systems for biological control of Polyphagotarsonemus latus in high-tunnel pepper

Monday, March 3, 2014: 2:52 PM
King's Mill (Embassy Suites Greenville Golf & Conference Center)
Lorena Lopez , Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Hugh A. Smith , Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Wimauma, FL
Marjorie A. Hoy , Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Ronald D. Cave , Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Fort Pierce, FL
Bielinski Santos , Horticulture Department, University of Florida, Wimauma, FL
The rapid development of resistance by many arthropod pests is producer’s and scientist’s major concern. Evaluations of the effectiveness of alternative control measures such as biological control are necessary to reduce pesticide applications and/or costs of augmentative control programs. Amblyseius swirskii is a predatory mite commonly used by Florida growers to control thrips and whiteflies, but there is a lack of information about releases using banker-plant systems and its performance under high-tunnel pepper production. Dispersal capacity of the predatory mite A. swirskii, using ornamental peppers ('Explosive ember') as banker plants, will be evaluated for control of broad mites in high-tunnel pepper. Pepper plants at two different age stages, five and ten weeks old (leaves not touching and leaves touching, respectively), will be used to evaluate the effect of plant connectedness in A. swirskii dispersal. A. swirskii was capable to disperse and provide protection to the plants in both age stages.