Due to the possibility of insecticide resistance and the fact that many insecticides are not certified for use inside glasshouses, chemical control methods are not recommended for whitefly control. Furthermore, pesticides can hinder biological control methods and leave unwanted residues on produce.
Since the emergence of insecticide-resistant whitefly, biological control methods such as mass trapping in conjunction with predatory mites has proven to be an excellent integrated pest management programme that achieves a good level of control. Each glasshouse has a diverse range of crops, microclimates and other ecological conditions that result in a unique ecosystem. As insects are living organisms they are very susceptible to slight environmental changes and so control strategies that work in one greenhouse may not work so well in another. In collaboration with various growers in different climates and industries, Russell IPM has developed 3 core products in the Optiroll range that are each suited to the array of environments most commonly found to host whitefly species.
Russell IPM’s R&D team conducted trials to determine the most attractive wavelength and density of colour for Whitefly capture. Trialeurodes vaporariorum were found to be most attracted to traps made of ‘Yellow 1’. The whitefly were not particularly attracted to other colours such as blue. Russell IPM now incorporate this particular yellow colour in each of its Optiroll products to ensure maximum trap catch against whitefly. For more information on each Optiroll product and its equivalent greenhouse environment, please call +44 (0)1244 281 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
As a major pest of greenhouse environments, the common whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum can cause significant damage in many fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops. The feeding action and secretions produced by the whitefly can transmit viruses and fungi into the plant that prevent it from proper functioning.
Whiteflies feed by inserting a proboscis into the leaf and piercing the plant phloem. The feeding and associated diseases can result in growth stunting or discolouration of the plant due to the physiological stress caused by the pest.
Whiteflies will mature through six life stages which begins with the egg, first, second, third and fourth larval stage, pupae and adult. The eggs are deposited by the female into the epidermal cells on the lower leaf surface, often in a circular formation. The final nymph stage will begin feeding through insertion of the proboscis into the leaf phloem. Once they have located a suitable feeding location, the pest will remain immobile until they reach adulthood.