Biological control of giant whitefly, Aleurodicus dugesii, in California.
The whitefly A. dugesii was first discovered in California (USA) in 1992. The whitefly spread rapidly, from its initial discovery location in San Diego, northward to San Luis Obispo County in a few years. This paper reports on foreign exploration for, and importation of, natural enemies of this whitefly from Mexico, part of the whitefly's original native range. Two natural enemies, both hymenopteran parasitoids (Idioporus affinis and Encarsiella noyesi), were imported into UCR quarantine and, after colony production and testing in quarantine, were authorized for release against the pest whitefly. Both natural enemies are now widely distributed in several counties in southern California, and established in many locations. The oldest release sites show complete biological control, with whitefly densities now a tiny fraction of what they were before the parasitoid introductions. Complete and permanent biological control of this new pest, through further distributions of the natural enemies, now seems assured.