The misuse of chemical insecticides has developed the phenomenon of habituation in the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) causing enormous economic losses under geothermal greenhouses in southern Tunisia. In order to develop means of biological control appropriate to the conditions of southern Tunisia, the efficacy of the native strain of the predator Nesidiocoris tenuis Reuter (Hemiptera: Miridae) and two entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) Beauveria bassiana and Lecanicillium muscarium was tested against Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius).
Indeed, the introduction of N. tenuis in doses of 1, 2, 3, or 4 nymphs per tobacco plant infested by the whitefly led to a highly significant reduction in the population of B. tabaci, than the control devoid of a predator. The efficacy of N. tenuis was very high against nymphs and adults of B. tabaci at all doses per plant with a rate of 98%. Likewise, B. bassiana and L. muscarium, compared to untreated control, showed a very significant efficacy against larvae and adults of B. tabaci .
In addition, the number of live nymphs of N. tenuis treated directly or introduced on nymphs of B. tabaci treated with the EPF remained relatively high, exceeding 24.8 nymphs per cage compared to the control (28.6). It can be concluded that the native strain of N. tenuis and the EPF tested separately were effective against B. tabaci. Their combined use appears to be possible.
Read the complete research at www.researchgate.net.