Effects of different application methods of vermicompost on tomato leaf miner, Tuta absoluta (Lep., Gelechiidae) population.
Application of fertilizers in the plant growth medium can affect plant-herbivore interactions by changing plant growth and physiology. In this research, the effect, of solid and aqueous extract (tea compost) of vermicompost application in tomato potting media on host preference, survival and fertility life table parameters of tomato leaf miner, Tuta absoluta, were investigated. Five treatments including control (without vermicompost), 30% and 60% solid vermicompost fertilizer, 40% and 20% tea compost were used. Results of host preference test, results showed that the lowest number of eggs per leaf and the highest mortality in the larval stages were observed in 60% solid vermicompost treatment. In the life fertility table investigation, female adult longevity (∼2 days), the number of eggs laid per female (∼16 eggs), intrinsic rate of increase (∼0.013 day-1), net reproductive rate (∼8 nymphs), and finite rate of increase (∼0.01 day-1) of tomato leaf miner reared on plants treated with vermicompost were significantly decreased especially in 60% solid vermicompost treatment. The negative effect of vermicompost application on the tomato leaf miner population can be mentioned in integrated pest management.