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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Sustainable Pest Management Strategies for Arid-land Crops

Location: Pest Management and Biocontrol Research

Title: Making whitefly and natural enemy counts

Authors
item Vandervoet, T -
item Ellsworth, P -
item Brown, L -
item Naranjo, Steven

Submitted to: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: August 8, 2014
Publication Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: Vandervoet, T., Ellsworth, P.C., Brown, L., Naranjo, S.E. 2014. Making whitefly and natural enemy counts. University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. 08/2014.

Interpretive Summary: Sweet potato whitefly is a key insect pests affecting multiple crops in the southwestern U.S., including cotton during the summer months. Extensive research has demonstrated that arthropod natural enemies, particularly predators, can have a significant impact on whitefly population dynamics and can regulate populations of this pest under certain conditions. The cotton integrated pest management (IPM) program in Arizona is well established and has been deployed for many years in Arizona and a number of other U.S. states and countries. It depends on careful monitoring of whitefly abundance and adherence to economic thresholds to determine the need to apply remedial insecticides. When insecticides are applied, growers are encouraged to use selective options that do not harm the natural enemy complex. This extension circular describes a new approach to whitefly management that takes into account not only whitefly abundance but also the abundance and activity of 4 key predator species commonly found in cotton. Predator to prey (whitefly) ratios are used to determine the need for additional control actions. This circular describes the sampling methods and provides easy to use charts for interpreting the counts and making decisions based on those counts. The approach should not only reduce the need for insecticide applications but also reduce the risk to growers from pest insect losses.

Technical Abstract: Sweet potato whitefly is a key insect pests affecting multiple crops in the southwestern U.S., including cotton during the summer months. Extensive research has demonstrated that arthropod natural enemies, particularly predators, can have a significant impact on whitefly population dynamics and can regulate populations of this pest under certain conditions. The cotton integrated pest management (IPM) program in Arizona is well established and has been deployed for many years in Arizona and a number of other U.S. states and countries. It depends on careful monitoring of whitefly abundance and adherence to economic thresholds to determine the need to apply remedial insecticides. When insecticides are applied, growers are encouraged to use selective options that do not harm the natural enemy complex. This extension circular describes a new approach to whitefly management that takes into account not only whitefly abundance but also the abundance and activity of 4 key predator species commonly found in cotton. Predator to prey (whitefly) ratios are used to determine the need for additional control actions. This circular describes the sampling methods and provides easy to use charts for interpreting the counts and making decisions based on those counts. The approach should not only reduce the need for insecticide applications but also reduce the risk to growers from pest insect losses.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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