Aug. 5, 2016
Scientists in the Brazilian state of São Paulo have developed a biological control system for pest-mites through the introduction of predatory mites. With a budget of over R$120,000, the study aims to generate information that will facilitate the management of diverse crops, including citrus fruits and ornamental plants.
The study, “Resistance of the Red Spider Mite (Tetranychus urticae) and predators (Phytoseiulus macropilis) to acaricides and strategies for the management of pest-mites with the use of predatory mites (Phytoseiidae) on ornamental and citrus plants,” was organized by the Biological Institute and will have the support of the Foundation for Research Support of São Paulo (Fapesp).
"One of the major problems faced by producers is the difficulty in controlling pest-mites through the use of agrochemicals. The biological imbalance caused by the elimination of natural enemies and the rapid development of resistance among these pests to the acaricides are major reasons for this difficulty,” said Mario Eidi Sato, the researcher at the Laboratorium of Acarology at the Central Experimental Center of the Biological Institute, who is responsible for the project.
The Secretary of Agriculture and Supply of São Paulo, Arnaldo Jardim, defends the use of biological control as "a good alternative to the use of agrochemicals. To offer this technology is to create conditions for producers to apply environmentally friendly methods in raising crops, as constantly advocated by Governor Geraldo Alckmin.”
The project relies on the collaboration of researchers and technicians from several institutions across the country, such as the State University of Campinas, the Association of Flower Growers of the Dutra Highway, the Mokiti Okada Foundation, and the Brazilian Committee of Action to the Resistance of Insecticides, as well as foreign institutions such as the USDA, the National Institute of Agronomic Research of France, the Queensland Museum of Australia, and the Nagoya University of Japan.