Protecting Unrooted Cuttings From Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera Aleyrodidae) During Propagation
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In North America, the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Genn., is an important pest of greenhouse poinsettia. Growers have limited options to control this pest during propagation of cuttings, which are rooted under mist for several weeks. Early establishment of this pest increases the difficulty of managing the whitefly and retaining high aesthetic standard during the remaining crop production phase. We evaluated two neonicotinoids with translaminar activity, thiamethoxam (Flagship 25WG), and acetamiprid (TriStar 70 WSP), for control of B. tabaci pre-infested on unrooted cuttings propagated under mist. In an experimental greenhouse, both materials significantly reduced whitefly populations, providing an average reduction of 87.8% and 61.5% total recovered whitefly stages respectively, compared with controls. In another test, dipping cuttings in thiamethoxam (immersion treatment) did not improve control significantly, when compared with foliar sprays applied at label rate. In a commercial greenhouse operation, immersion treatments of thiamethoxam on pre-infested poinsettia cuttings maintained whiteflies at ≤ 0.02/plant, compared with up to 0.33/plant in untreated cuttings. Our data suggest that treating unrooted cuttings before or at the start of propagation can be part of an overall strategy for growers to manage whiteflies in poinsettia production.
author list (cited authors)
Krauter, P. C., Heinz, K. M., & Arthurs, S.