Analysis of different host plants and identifying non-polluting bioinsecticide strategies to control the invasive pest Nezara viridula.
Nezara viridula is one of the newest and most aggressive pests affecting crops and ornamental plants in Romania. The broad polyphagism and invasive character of N. viridula necessitates periodic updates of its activities. To assess the status of the host plants, and indirectly, the size of the populations present on them, we analysed several areas at different locations in western Romania. Because large populations have been observed (up to 1264 ind/point) on many plants (the most common hosts being vegetables, corn and ornamental plants), attempts to find solutions to reduce the numbers of these pests have been attempted in a context of environmental friendliness. To find the best pest control solution, a biological bacterial product, Saccharopolyspora spinosa, was tested. The results have shown considerable damage to N. viridula (up to 98.5%) for many of the analysed sites. The bioinsecticide efficacy was tested, and the percentage of active insects was reduced to less than 30% within 1-14 days. As N. viridula has the potential to expand into new areas in the west of the country and also to other areas, and it has the potential to adapt to new host plants; therefore, it is necessary to use a control strategy that involves 1-2 treatments with the biological product tested here, at a concentration of 0.05%.