Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) - biology, ecology, prevention and control measures and means in greenhouse tomato crops. a review.
The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) is a dangerous pest, difficult to control in tomato crops. In Europe, it was originally reported in eastern Spain, at the end of 2006, subsequently spreading very fast throughout the Mediterranean basin and in various countries in Europe. In Romania, was first reported in 2009, in the North West area (Satu Mare), and a year later he was identified near Bucharest, in greenhouse crops. The larvae attack both foliage and fruit during all tomato growth stages. On leaves, larvae feed only on mesophyll, leaving the epidermis intact. They also penetrate into tomato fruits where they feed and grow, leaving behind mines and galleries. The species of vegetables from Solanaceae family are the main hosts of the pest. Control of Tuta absoluta infestations is difficult to achieve, because the larvae are protected in the leaf mesophyll or inside the fruits. Chemical control is the primary method to manage the pest, but there are also alternative methods of control, less polluting, such as: biological control through treatments with biological products, by releasing of parasitoids and predators, insect-proof nets, pheromone traps and so on. Treatments must be applied before the pest penetrates under the epidermis of the leaves or in fruits.