Does Use of Pesticides Known to Harm Natural Enemies of Spider Mites (Acari: Tetranychidae) Result in Increased Number of Miticide Applications? An Examination of California Walnut Orchards

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Integrated pest management (IPM) offers guidelines to reduce spider mite (Acari: Tetranychidae) outbreaks by avoiding pesticides known to be harmful to the natural enemies of spider mites. However, in practice, these guidelines can be inconsistent in their effectiveness. The project examined whether California walnut (Juglans L.) growers, following IPM guidelines to avoid pesticides harmful to the natural enemies of spider mites, achieved lower miticide use. Significant statistical tests suggested that fields with harmful applications were 40% more likely to have a miticide application than fields without. Although the IPM guidelines achieved the goal of reducing miticide use, further analysis of other potential causal mechanisms behind outbreaks could strengthen the effectiveness of the guidelines, potentially increasing IPM adoption.

Keywords: Tetranychidae; biological control; integrated pest management; secondary pest outbreaks; tree nuts

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2011

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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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