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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342607

Research Project: Exotic Whitefly Pests of Vegetables and Ornamental Plants

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Mitigating trans-boundary movement of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) on Mentha sp. by pre-shipping treaments of biopesticides

item ARISTIZABAL, LUIS - University Of Florida
item AVERY, PASCO - University Of Florida
item KUMAR, VIVEK - University Of Florida
item CALDWELL, JEAN - University Of Florida
item McKenzie, Cindy
item OSBORNE, LANCE - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Crop Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/19/2018
Publication Date: 2/3/2018
Citation: Aristizabal, L., Avery, P., Kumar, V., Caldwell, J., McKenzie, C.L., Osborne, L.S. 2018. Mitigating trans-boundary movement of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) on Mentha sp by pre-shipping treaments of biopesticides. Crop Protection. 107:71-78.

Interpretive Summary: Bemisia tabaci (B. tabaci) is a polyphagous pest known to feed upon over 900 plant taxa and is an effective vector of more than 100 plant damaging viruses. Among different biotypes of this cryptic species complex, MEAM1 and MED whitefly are the two most destructive members posing threats of several crops of economic importance. Considering the passive dispersal of B. tabaci through movement of infested plant materials an important mode for their invasion into new regions, and the regulations on the use of certain chemical class before shipping of the plant materials, in the current study we evaluated selected bio-pesticides (Isaria fumosorosea and Beauveria bassiana) for control of MEAM1 on ornamental plants under actual shipping conditions. The highest efficacies of pre-shipping treatments against B. tabaci were observed with applications of Beauveria bassiana alone (80%) or in combination with horticultural oil (86%) and Isaria fumosorosea in combination with horticultural oil (77%). The efficacy of this strategy pre-shipping may ensure a strong preventive measure for pest management of the whitefly or possibly other pests before the arrival of plants for the customers. Since the nursery industry and landscape businesses are significantly important for the Florida economy, the mitigation and prevention of dispersal of invasive insect pests through shipping of ornamental plants is an issue that is very important to producers, sanitary authorities, and customers. Therefore, our results contribute to the exploration of alternative mitigation strategies for the prevention of the spread of B. tabaci, pre-shipping from the greenhouses that produce ornamental plants in Florida to different locations throughout the United States.

Technical Abstract: Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a major pest of several important crops including vegetables, cereals, fruits, and ornamentals grown worldwide. One important mode of its dispersal is through the trans-boundary movement of infested plant materials. In order to prevent the spread of this invasive insect pest on inter-state ornamental shipments, the efficacy of bio-rational insecticides were tested through dip treatments of plant material pre-shipping. In different studies, clean Mentha sp. (Lamiales: Lamiacea) plants were exposed to adults of Bemisia tabaci for 1 or 6 days. Adults were removed from plants and eggs and immature stages were treated with one or a combination of the following: entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana (BotaniGard®), Isaria fumosorosea (Preferal®), the surfactant Natur’l Oil®, and soap (Publix®). After treatment application, plants were placed in commercial cardboard boxes and shipped from Apopka, Florida to Fort Pierce, Florida. Assessments for the treatment efficacies were conducted at 3, 7, and 14 days post arrival of the shipment. Fungal entomopathogens; Beauveria bassiana, Isaria fumosorosea and the surfactant Natur’l Oil showed significant reduction in the whitefly population compared to control. Significantly higher corrected mortality of the whitefly populations were observed when Beauveria bassiana was applied alone (80%) or in combination with Natur’l Oil (86%), as well as Isaria fumosorosea applied in combination with Natur’l Oil (77%). Our results showed that pre-shipping dip treatment applications of either Natur’l Oil mixed with Beauveria bassiana or Isaria fumosorosea or Beauveria bassiana applied alone could help mitigate inter-state spread of whitefly on ornamental shipments.