Biological control of Bemisia argentifolii on poinsettia
The efficacy of biological control with releases of Encarsia luteola (parasitoid) and Delphastus pusillus (predator) against Bemisia argentifolii (B. tabaci biotype B - EPPO A2 quarantine pest) has been evaluated in a greenhouse of poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima). Encarsia luteola was released weekly after the plants entered the greenhouse and in addition three releases of Delphastus pusillus were carried out (at one week interval) when populations of the pest increased. Release rates were one insect per plant per week for the two natural enemies. Damage to harvested plants within the areas of the greenhouse where biological control was applied, was not significantly different from damage level observed in a separated area treated with pesticides. The cost of biological control was approximately five times greater than the chemical treatments. However, the authors felt that the cost of biological control could probably be reduced by defining more precisely the timing and rates of release of natural enemies, and by an increase of commercial availability of these two species.
Heinz, K.M.; Parrella, M.P. (1994) Biological control of Bemisia argentifolii (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) infesting Euphorbia pulcherrima: evaluation of releases of Encarsia luteola (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) and Delphastus pusillus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).
Environmental Entomology, 23 (5), 1346-1353.