Chemical Alternatives to Malathion for Controlling Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae), and Their Side Effects on Natural Enemies in Spanish Citrus Orchards

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The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is one of the most important fruit pests worldwide. Mediterranean fruit fly control in Spain has been based on organophosphate sprays, especially malathion, mixed with protein baits. However, this insecticide has recently been excluded from annex 1 of the Directive 91/414 CEE, which lists authorized active ingredients for pest control in the European Union. This article reports on the efficacy of four alternative baited insecticides on Mediterranean fruit fly and their side effects on three natural enemies [Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Mulsant), Neoseiulus californicus (McGregor), and Aphidius colemani (Viereck)] relevant for pest control in citrus agroecosystems. A high Mediterranean fruit fly mortality was obtained for all baited insecticides (phosmet and spinosad) except lambda-cyhalothrin, which caused the lowest mortality and showed a novel disabling effect on surviving Mediterranean fruit fly adults. Spinosad proved to be the most selective bait treatment for C. montrouzieri and N. californicus, whereas for A. colemani the most selective bait was phosmet and lambda-cyhalothrin. These findings would contribute to a sustainable chemical control of C. capitata populations under an integrated pest management system in Spanish citrus orchards.

Keywords: Aphidius colemani; Cryptolaemus montrouzieri; Neoseiulus californicus; baited insecticides

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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