Management tools for Frankliniella occidentalis in hydroponic lettuce – mites might work.  Is biocontrol spreading its wings in Australia?

Leigh Pilkington *1


1 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Locked Bag 26, Gosford, NSW 2250, Australia

In Europe and other parts of the world, there is no doubting the utility of biological control agents when used within a greenhouse production system.  In Australia, biological control is becoming widely used as a very successful management tool in many styles of greenhouses and in many different crops.  Australian growers are now enjoying a supply of a broad range of biological controls and can now often target the pest with different organisms that attack either different life stages or different areas of the host plant.  In a Horticulture Australia Ltd project, a combination of predatory mites Transieus montdorensis and Geolaelaps aculeifer were tested for control of Frankliniella occidentalis, western flower thrips, on hydroponic lettuce.   Using two very different strategies the two organisms affected numbers of the pest in indoor and outdoor trials.  Results from this work and similar examples of other complementary systems will be discussed.


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