Japanese government publishes procedure for dealing with spider mites in greenhouses

The Japanese organization Agricultural and Food Business 28022C Consortium, represented by National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), have established a new and practical control system for spider mites, which are difficult-to-control pests on fruit trees, with natural enemies as the core that can be used in greenhouse cultivation of grapes and oranges. This control system uses the appropriate application of biocontrol techniques, such as the conservation of indigenous natural enemies and the release of commercialized natural enemies.

NARO created a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and published it on its website to promote this control system's popularization.

Spider mites, which tend to occur frequently under high temperature and dry conditions, are particularly difficult to control in greenhouse cultivation, and new control techniques have been sought from the perspectives of sustainability and labor reduction. The framework of the pest control system can also be applied to fruit tree greenhouse cultivation, and a model system has been created for grapes and oranges cultivated in a greenhouse. A standard operating procedure (SOP) has been published to help introduction of these systems.

Since spider mites multiply quickly and tend to develop resistance to chemically synthesized pesticides (acaricides), additional spraying of pesticides to complement the control effect has become the norm in many production areas. New pesticides are the only recourse, but there are concerns that their development speed will not keep up with the speed of drug-resistant development of spider mites. A shift to a practical pest control system that does not rely solely on acaricides is desired for sustainable fruit production.

We focused on Phytoseiidae mites, a powerful natural enemy of spider mites, and by making the most of the advantages of "indigenous Phytoseiid mites that naturally inhabit orchards" and/or "formulated Phytoseiid mites," we have established a new spider mite control system ( "wten" pest control system) that greatly reduces dependence on acaricides. Three SOPs (apple edition/Japanese pear edition/fundamental & reference edition) for spider mites control system utilizing natural enemies for fruit trees published as an instruction manual for installing "wten" pest control system in the production site.

This SOP enables the smooth introduction of "wten" pest control system in the production areas where control with acaricides is found to be difficult. At the same time, by promoting the further popularization of "wten" pest control systems even in production areas where there are not much of problems with chemical control at present, it enables the reduction of the frequency of use of acaricides and their sustainable use, contributing to both the improvement of the productivity of fruit trees and the reduction of the environmental burden.

For more information:
National Agriculture and Food Research Organisation

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