ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 97, Number 3
Preliminary studies on integrating biocontrol methods with synthetic acaricides on red spider mite (Oligonychus coffeae, Nietner) infesting tea (Camellia sinensis L. (Kuntze)) in South India
Tea plants (Camellia sinensis L. (Kuntze)) face various biotic stresses as a result of attacks from different pests. Among them, red spider mite (Oligonychus coffeae, Nietner) has been a major challenge in recent years in India. This study assessed the effectiveness of biocontrol methods along with judicious use of synthetic acaricides on red spider mite populations in tea gardens in South India. The results demonstrated the importance of integrating different modules of biocontrol procedures by using a natural enemy (Mallada desjardinsi) of the red spider mite, a bacterium (Pseudomonas fluorescens), aqueous leaf extracts of Indian wormwood (Artemisia nilagirica), along with judicious use of acaricides for effective population reduction. These results can be considered as a first step towards the utilization of various biocontrol methods in the management of red spider mite infestation in tea as they can be used to improve the existing management strategy for this pest.
Keywords: Red spider mites; Mallada desjardinsi; tea; Artemisia nilagirica; Oligonychus coffeae; Camellia sinensis