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CAB Review

Biological control of citrus insect pests in Turkey.

Abstract

The usage and acceptability of biological control methods are set to increase in agriculture in the future because of food safety and pesticide residue issues. Biological control implementation in Turkey started with control of cottony cushion scale Icerya purchasi (Homoptera: Margarodidae) through the introduction and release of Rodolia cardinalis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in citrus plantations. Currently, the key pests of citrus, i.e. citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae)), citrus rust mite (Phyllocoptruta oleivora (Acarina: Eriophyidae)) and California red scale (Aonidiella aurantii (Homoptera: Diaspididae)), can be suppressed by biological control, a specific acaricide and summer oil applications, respectively. As a main pest, the citrus mealybug infested area is approximately 100 000 ha in total on the East and West Mediterranean coasts of Turkey. Until now, biological control for citrus mealybug has been implemented on only 3000 ha (3.5%) of the citrus growing area. However, the small-scale nature of biological control applications in relation to the size of infested area is set to change as public awareness will lead to an increase in the area over which biological control is implemented in the future.