Zhang, X., Ferrante, M., Wan, F., Yang, N. & Lövei, G.L. (2020) The parasitoid Eretmocerus hayati is compatible with barrier cropping to decrease whitefly (Bemisia tabaci MED) densities on cotton in China.Insects, 11(1), 1-13. DOI:10.3390/insects11010057 (IF2018 2,139; Q1 Entomology)
The whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) cryptic species Mediterranean (MED), is a destructive insect pest worldwide. In order to contribute to controlling B. tabaci by non-chemical methods, we examined the possibility of using a combination of trap/barrier crops and a parasitoid natural enemy in cotton. We performed field experiments using cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus) as trap crops and maize (Zea mays) as a barrier crop combined with periodic releases of the parasitoid Eretmocerus hayati in Hebei Province, Northern China. All treatments significantly reduced immature whitefly densities. Parasitism rate was significantly higher in cotton plots intercropped with sunflower and with perimeter-planted cantaloupe. Adult whitefly density was negatively related to parasitoid abundance and was significantly lower in cotton plots intercropped with maize than in the control plots. Intercropping was more effective than perimeter-planting at reducing B. tabaci densities and increasing yield. Parasitoid dispersal was not hampered by barrier crops, indicating that the two methods of control are compatible. These results contribute to the development of integrated pest management methods against this important pest.