Conservation of Natural Enemies Relative to Use of Insect Growth Regulators for Control of Sweetpotato Whitefly
AffiliationUSDA-ARS, Western Cotton Research Laboratory, Phoenix, AZ
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AbstractAs part of a large-scale, multi-institutional experiment in 1996 to examine and demonstrate strategies for management of Bemisia tabaci involving the use of two insect growth regulators (IGRs), we evaluated effects on the abundance and activity of native natural enemies. For parasitoids there were significant differences between insecticides regimes on 4 of 10 sampling dates. In general, parasitoid abundance and rates of parasitism were depressed in treatment plots receiving a rotation of conventional chemistry in comparison with those receiving IGRs. There was no apparent effect of any of the treatment variables on parasitoid emergence (immature survival). Results for arthropod predators are still preliminary, but densities were generally depressed in plots receiving a rotation of conventional insecticides in comparison with those receiving IGRs. These preliminary results suggest that use of IGRs for suppression of B. tabaci may help conserve populations of important natural enemies.