Potential of Biological Control of Two-Spotted Spider Mites on Strawberries in California1

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Resistance of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychusurticae (Koch), to acaricides previously effective against it on strawberries in California has reopened consideration of biological control. The authors considered the reproductive capacities of the prey and predator species, voraciousness of the predators, comparative motility of both predatory and prey species, and acceptance of alternate foods, if any, on the part of predatory species.

Comparison of inherent powers of increase of predatory and prey species is not a proper criterion for determining whether the predator can control a prey species. Other things being equal, a prey-specific predator of lesser voraciousness (per individual) is more reliable in preventing outbreaks, Within limits, use of alternate foods may add to, rather than detract from, the effectiveness of a predator in the population control sense.

Years of field and laboratory research and observations involving specific work of the authors and others in strawberries, grapes, citrus, deciduous fruits, and field crops support the view that phytoseiid mites, particularly members of the genus Metaseiulus, are often efficient predators of spider mites, and should be encouraged to a maximum consistent with profitable production.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1966

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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