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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #278203

Title: Evaluation of mustard plants and other products to control sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci

Author
item Legaspi, Jesusa - Susie
item Miller, Neil

Submitted to: National IPM Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2012
Publication Date: 3/29/2012
Citation: Legaspi, J.C., Miller, N.W. 2012. Evaluation of mustard plants and other products to control sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. National IPM Symposium. p. 119.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A major insect pest of vegetables and horticultural crops in the southeast US is the sweetpotato whitefly.Scientists at the USDA-Agriculture Research Service, Center for Veterinary Entomology, Gainesaville, Florida, evaluated the effect of giant red mustard plants and commercial products to control these whiteflies. In laboratory tests, whiteflies were released in potted cantaloupe plants sprayed with mustard oil, garlic oil, horticultural petroleum oil, hot pepper wax and a water control. We found that the plants sprayed with the oils had significantly lower numbers of whiteflies compared to those sprayed with hot pepper wax and water alone. It is possible that whiteflies were repelled by volatiles from the oils. In a separate study, we studied the effect of plant volatiles on whitefly behavior using specialized odor detecting equipment. We found that whiteflies were repelled by giant red mustard plants. Our results indicate that giant red mustard plants and commercial oils such as mustard, garlic and horticultural oils are promising control agents against whiteflies in vegetable plants.