BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT OF TUTA ABSOLUTA IN TOMATO CROPS UNDER CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT
The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), is becoming one of the key pests of tomato in open fields and greenhouses; which account for its production loss of up to 80 to 100% if left unchecked. It has been a recognized pest in South America since the 1960s, quickly spreading to the major tomato-producing countries in the region. Chemical control using synthetic insecticides is the primary method to manage the pest, the field results took the same trend of laboratory ones. The results indicated that all the tested insecticides had significantly affected the insect population and the average percentages reduction of infestation with T. absoluta in tomato field. The average percentages reduction of infestation had affected by tested insecticides and part of plant (leaves & fruits). Widespread insecticide use has caused selection for insecticide resistance as well as undesirable effects on key beneficial arthropods. Augmentation and conservation biological control relying on omnivorous predators has proved successful for management of T. absoluta, where implementation is dependent on abiotic, biotic (e.g., alternative prey), and anthropogenic factors (e.g., pesticides). Research has been carried out on larval parasitoids, showing potential for further development of sustainable control.