Submitted to: Bemisia International Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 21, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interest in methods for biological control of Bemisia whiteflies continues to increase worldwide, stimulated by the persistent problem of pesticide resistance and the growing economic and environmental costs of chemical insecticide use. Recent advances in mass production and formulation of entomopathogenic fungi and positive results in small-scale field trials have stimulated interest in development of these microorganisms as whitefl control agents; however, many technical constraints remain. This extended abstract and critique identifies four key problem areas and recommends continued research and development efforts to (1) minimize dependency of mycoinsecticides on favorable environmental conditions; (2) increase efficacy against adult whiteflies; (3) improve spray coverage of the lower surfaces of crop foliage; and (4) maximize efficacy of fungus applications made in fungicide-treated fields. Manipulations of such variables as application rate and timing, irrigation method and timing, sprayer technology, and production formulation are suggested to have greatest potential for improving efficacy of fungal pathogens. Also emphasized, is the importance of viewing mycoinsecticides not simply as direct competitors of stand-alone chemical control agents, but as components of integrated pest management systems.