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Action Threshold for Applying Insect Growth Regulators to Tomato for Management of Irregular Ripening Caused by Bemisia argentifolii (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae)

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The whitefly Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring is a major pest of tomatoes, causing an irregular ripening disorder characterized externally by incomplete or inhibited reddening of fruit, especially in longitudinal sections, and internally by an increase in the amount of white tissue. Experiments were undertaken during the spring and fall of 1997 and 1998 and the spring of 1999 to develop an action threshold for applying the insect growth regulators (IGRs) buprofezin and pyriproxyfen to manage B. argentifolii and irregular ripening. The IGRs were applied when predetermined thresholds were reached and were compared with a high rate of the systemic insecticide imidacloprid, which was applied at transplanting and provided season-long whitefly control. Only plots treated when the numbers of sessile nymphs (second through fourth instars) reached five per 10 leaflets consistently had both external and internal irregular ripening severity ratings similar to the imidacloprid standard. Results were similar for buprofezin and pyriproxyfen even though the modes of action differ. The five nymphs per 10 leaflets threshold lends itself to field scouting because nymphal counts completed in the field using the unaided eye supplemented with a 10× hand lens were linearly and significantly related to counts completed in the laboratory with a dissecting microscope.

Keywords: Lycopersicon esculentum; integrated pest management; silverleaf whitefly

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-95.2.372

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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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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