Efficacy of mating disruption compared with chemical insecticides for controlling Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in Kuwait.
The efficacy of mating disruption with Isonet®-T at the rate of 30, 45 or 60 g a.i. ha - 1 of sex pheromone to control Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in greenhouse tomato crops was compared with conventional insecticides (flubendiamide, 60 mg L- 1 and azadirachtin, 3 g L- 1) in winter and summer. In both trials, significantly fewer moths were captured in mating disruption and insecticide-treated plots compared with the control. Differences in male captures between plots disrupted with 60 g a.i. ha - 1 of sex pheromone and the insecticide-treated was significant only in summer. In plots disrupted with 60 g a.i. ha - 1 of sex pheromone, male captures were significantly reduced by 90% in both trials. No significant differences were found in foliage and fruit damage between plots disrupted with 60 g a.i. ha - 1 of sex pheromone and the insecticide-treated. The lower pheromone doses did not achieve a reduction in moth population, foliage, or fruit damage compared with the high pheromone dose or the insecticide treatments. The results suggest that mating disruption applied at high doses could be as effective as insecticides in managing T. absoluta, and could serve as a key component of an IPM program for the pest.