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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Manipulating whitefly behaviour using plant resistance, reduced-risk sprays, trap crops and yellow sticky traps for improved control for wweet pepper greenhouse crops Moreau, Tara


The greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Hemiptera, Aleyrodidae) has been identified as a priority pest for multiple vegetable and ornamental greenhouse crops. The deliberate manipulation of insect behaviour for the purpose of pest management is of great interest to greenhouse growers looking to reduce pesticide use in commercial sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum) greenhouses. In the following, alternative control tactics were individually evaluated in the laboratory and greenhouse to identify the greatest modifiers of T. vaporariorum settling and oviposition behaviours on peppers. The four tactics tested were plant resistance (PR), reduced-risk sprays (RRSs), trap crops (TCs) and yellow sticky traps (YSTs). The individual tactics that were most effective at reducing adult and egg populations on peppers were combined to determine if the simultaneous use of behaviour modifying tactics enhanced whitefly control. Results indicated that the greatest modifiers of T. vaporariorum settling and oviposition behaviours on peppers were YSTs > TCs > RRSs > PR. Combining YSTs and TCs with RRRs indicated that T. vaporariorum settling and oviposition can be directed away from peppers to traps. Although whitefly settling was lowest on peppers in the TC + YST + RRS combination, there was no significant benefit of using three tactics (TC + YST + RRS) over two tactics (TC + YST). Trap crops used in combination with yellow sticky traps reduced adult densities on peppers by 53% and provided a more consistent and effective method of reducing whiteflies on peppers than using reduced-risk sprays. The use of YSTs + TCs is recommended as an alterative whitefly control tactic for sweet peppers. Implications of these findings in the context of whitefly host selection and as a potential greenhouse management strategy are discussed.

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