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Floating row covers and pyriproxyfen help control silverleaf whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) Biotype B (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) in zucchini

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In zucchini, the use of row covers until flowering and the insect growth regulator (IGR) pyriproxyfen are effective methods of reducing the number of insects, especially silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) Biotype B), on plants. We compared floating row covers (FRCs) up until flowering with silverleaf whitefly (SLW) introduced (FRC + SLW), or not introduced (FRC-only), or with introduction of SLW in open plots (SLW-only), or with introduction of SLW in open plots with IGR (SLW + IGR). FRC increased temperature and humidity compared with the uncovered treatments. Average fruit weight was less (P < 0.01) for the FRC + SLW treatment compared with the other treatments and the percentage of marketable fruit was less for the FRC + SLW than for the other three treatments. This result indicates that the use of either row covers or IGR controls whiteflies, reduces fruit damage and increases the size, weight, and quality of fruit, and may also control other sap-sucking insects. However, if SLW are already present on plants, the use of FRC may reduce predation and favour build up of SLW. Thus, FRC and IGR, if used judiciously, may provide an effective alternative to broad-spectrum pesticides in small-scale cucurbit production.
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Keywords: Bemisia tabaci Biotype B; IGR; floating row cover; pyriproxyfen; sap-sucking insect

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Plant Sciences Group, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Qld 4702, Australia 2: Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F), PO Box 6014 CQMC, Rockhampton, Qld 4702, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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