Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Alternative means of control in organic farming in Tunisia, case of the moth dates, Ectomyelois ceratoniae (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae).

Abstract

In organic farming, the control of crop pests is essentially based on the management of the agricultural system so that pests remain below a threshold economically profitable through an auxiliary fauna composed of natural enemies present with a sufficient number to maintain the necessary biological balance in the plot. The biological control must be primarily preventive than curative. The fight in organic agriculture is based on three pillars: (1) It must promote biodiversity which in turn will promote the stability of the entomofauna and the balance between pests and their natural enemies. Among the means that allow to increase the biodiversity entomofauna, we quote the edges of the fields, the hedges and breeze winds, weeds, vegetation bands and intercrops. (2) Prevention must be strengthened in organic farming in order to limit the activities of pests and it is based on crop management through cultivation techniques that strengthen plant defenses. Several cultivation methods can reduce preventive pests, choice of cultivars, date of sowing, tillage, fertilization, trap crops, crop arrangement and rotation, physical control. (3) The curative fight is the last link in the strategy of struggle in Organic Agriculture; she is based on a combination of several biological control approaches. The biotechnical struggle rests on sex pheromones, mass trapping and mating disruption. Microbiological control is based on fungi (Beauveria bassiana), bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis), viruses or more nematodes. Bio-pesticides based on plant extracts, rotenone and pyrethrum, however, it should be noted, however, that the latter can also have negative impacts on auxiliaries, the resurgence of secondary pests and the development of resistance. Biological control by acclimatization and by inoculation or inundative conservation via the release of auxiliaries, case of trichograms used against Lepidopteran pests. All its alternative control techniques have shown their effectiveness in Tunisia against key pests of crops such as, Tuta absoluta (on tomato), Ectomyelois ceratoniae (on citrus fruits, pomegranate and date palms) Deudorix livia (on pomegranate), Silba adipata (on fig), Ceratitis capitata (on apricot tree), Cydia pomonella (on apple tree), etc.