Comparison of single and combination treatments of Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus californicus, and Acramite (bifenazate) for control of twospotted spider mites in strawberries

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Abstract

Greenhouse and field experiments were conducted from 2003 to 2005 to determine the effectiveness of combining releases of two predatory mite species, Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot and Neoseiulus californicus (McGregor), and a reduced-risk miticide, Acramite® (bifenazate), for control of twospotted spider mite (TSSM) (Tetranychus urticae Koch) in strawberries. In the greenhouse experiment, a combination treatment of P. persimilis and N. californicus was compared with single treatments of each species, Acramite application, and untreated control. All treatments significantly reduced TSSM numbers compared with the control. Field studies employed two approaches: one investigating the same five treatments as the greenhouse experiment and a second, comparing combination treatments of P. persimilis/N. californicus, Acramite/N. californicus, and Acramite/P. persimilis to single treatments of each and to control plots. Among the combination treatments, the P. persimilis/N. californicus treatment significantly reduced TSSM numbers compared with the control, but was not as effective as N. californicus alone during the 2003–2004 field season. Also, combination treatments of Acramite/N. californicus, and Acramite/P. persimilis significantly reduced TSSM populations compared with the control. These findings indicate that all three combination treatments are promising options for TSSM control in strawberries for growers in northern Florida and other strawberry producing areas of the world.

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