Biocontrol: other pests

7. Biological pest management: Other pests Agricultural crops are exposed to a large variety of pests . As not all pests occur routinely and in large-scale infestations, the destructive potential of such insects should not be ignored . Plant damage from mealy bugs, vine weevils and caterpillars can be very serious . Mealy bug Vine weevil Damage symptoms • Mealybug nymphs and adults feed on plant sap . This feeding reduces growth and causes deformation and/or yellowing on the leaf . Sometimes defoliation can occur . This can reduce yield or cause cosmetic damage . Infested flowering plants often drop their flowers . • Vine weevil adults are only active at night . They take semi-circular bites from the edges of leaves . This notching decreases the ornamental value of the plant . Larvae cause the most damage when feeding on root hairs and the stem base . • Caterpillars mainly feed on the undersides of the leaves . The upper layer (epidermis) remains undamaged . If caterpillars mature, they disperse on the plant . They cause small holes in the leaves initially, which become larger . Some species also attack fruits or flowers . The large amount of excrement from caterpillars soils the crop . Caterpillar Solutions Capsanem • Entomoparasitic nematode: Steinernema carpocapsae • Primary target: various caterpillars and tipulid larvae • Packaging: third stage nematode larvae in inert carrier material Citripar • Parasitic wasp: Anagyrus pseudococci • Primary target: citrus mealybugs and vine mealybugs in 2nd and 3rd larval stage and adult stage • Packaging: mummies bottled with inert carrier material Cryptobug • Predatory beetle: Cryptolaemus montrouzieri • Primary target: various mealybug species • Packaging: adults in box 18

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