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Beneficial insects in organic agriculture: citrus little helpers

{Tool} Beneficial insects in organic agriculture: citrus little helpers. Creator(s): Avosani, Sabina and Verrastro, Vincenzo. Issuing Organisation(s): CIHEAM Bari - Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari. Biofruitnet practice abstracts, no. 1. (2022)

[thumbnail of Beneficial insects in organic agriculture: citrus little helpers] PDF - Published Version - English (Beneficial insects in organic agriculture: citrus little helpers)
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Document available online at: https://orgprints.org/43468


The BIs against P. citri are well-perceived by consumers and do not represent a threat to the agroecosystem.
Practical recommendations
• BIs are reared inside climatic chambers and shipped to farmers pre-fed and pre-mated.
• For citrus, two BIs are commonly used: Leptomastix dactylopii and Cryptolaemus montrouzieri.
• The parasitoid L. dactylopii is very efficient against P. citri. Repeated releases over a short period should be done under warm, sunny, humid conditions when the first mealybug females move towards the top of the plant.
• The ladybug C. montrouzieri can wipe out large P. citri populations. 10-20 adults per plant is neces-sary in cases of high infestations (around 5,000 ladybugs/hectare in orchards). High prey density stimulates egg laying and prevents dispersion; hence ladybugs’ release is recommended in hot spots.
• Limiting factors (for both species) include temperatures below 17 °C or above 34 °C and the presence of ants.
• To ensure maximum BIs at the site, it is suggested to (i) mist plants with water before releasing and in the evening, (ii) reduce the use of sticky traps, and (iii) avoid white cloths.

EPrint Type:Practice tool
What problem does the tool address?:Pests, such as the mealybug Planococcus citri, are of major economic concern in the citrus growing chain. Organic and safe alternatives to pesticides are crucial to control P. citri.
What solution does the tool offer?:Beneficial insects (BIs) may offer a sustainable alternative to pesticides since they can be propagated in the laboratory and released within the crop when pest infestation rates are high enough.
Type of Practice Tool:Practice abstracts
Keywords:Crop production, citrus, biodiversity, biological control
Agrovoc keywords:
crop production
biological control
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > Biofruitnet
Italy > IAMB Mediterranean Agronomic Institute Bari
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:862850
Related Links:https://organic-farmknowledge.org/tool/43468, https://www.facebook.com/organicfarmknowledge/posts/435596651686308, https://twitter.com/farm_knowledge/status/1493139061393006596
Project ID:ofk
Deposited By: Basler, Andreas
ID Code:43468
Deposited On:01 Feb 2022 13:06
Last Modified:20 Jun 2022 07:21
Document Language:English

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