Evaluation of Inundative Releases of Eretmocerus eremicus and Encarsia formosa Beltsville Strain in Commercial Greenhouses for Control of Bemisia argentifolii (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) on Poinsettia Stock Plants

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The effectiveness of weekly inundative releases of 3 female Eretmocerus eremicus (evaluated in 2 greenhouses) and 4–7 Encarsia formosa Beltsville strain (evaluated in 2 greenhouses) per plant for control of Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring [=Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) strain B (Bellows et al. 1994)] (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) on poinsettia stock plants was determined under commercial growing conditions. We constructed partial life-tables for B. argentifolii in the presence and absence of parasitoids in each of 4 greenhouses to quantify parasitoid impact. Weekly population counts of B. argentifolii were also made. Initial starting densities of live B. argentifolii nymphs and pupae on cuttings used for the stock plant crop ranged from 0.25 to 1.86. Each site where each parasitoid species was tested had 1 relatively low and high initial starting density of B. argentifolii. Under these conditions, E. eremicus effectively controlled B. argentifolii at 2 sites and cuttings were harvested with 0.66–1.49 live nymphs and pupae per leaf without insecticide use. Trials with E. formosa Beltsville strain were terminated early at 2 sites and insecticides were applied before the harvesting of cuttings because this parasitoid failed to control B. argentifolii although initial starting densities of B. argentifolii were similar to those in E. eremicus greenhouses. The cost of using E. eremicus was compared with the cost of the insecticide imidacloprid for B. argentifolii control at 1 site. At a retail cost of $22 per 1,000 parasitoids in 1995, the use of E. eremicus was 44 times more expensive than imidacloprid.

Keywords: Bemisia argentifolii; Encarsia formosa Beltsville strain; Eretmocerus eremicus; inundative biological control; poinsettia; stock plants

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1999

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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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