Suppression of the Two-Spotted Spider Mite on Strawberry with Mass Releases of Phytoseiulus persimilis

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Biological control of Tetranychus urticae Koch on strawberry was investigated in southern California during 1966-67. Mass releases of Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot were made at the equivalent rate of 320,000 total/acre at weekly intervals for 8 weeks, starting January 10. Populations of prey and predators were followed at weekly intervals throughout the study. T. urticae was effectively suppressed by P. persimilis with the pest population reaching a peak of 29.2 mites per leaflet in the release plots on May 23, and 75.3 per leaflet in the check (no release) on April 19. The differences in the overall spider mite population and the percentage of spider mite-infested leaflets between the check and release plots were statistically significant. Fruit yield was not significantly different but averaged 7.4% higher in the release plots for the 4-month period that the fruit was harvested. The six-spotted thrips, Scolothrips sexmaculatus (Pergande), was the most abundant native predator associated with the spider mite population.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 16, 1968

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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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