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Project description

Biological Control of Giant Whitefly. (99BC004)
Program UC IPM competitive research grants program
T.S. Bellows, Entomology, UC Riverside
Host/habitat Landscape Trees and Shrubs
Pest Giant Whitefly Aleurodicus dugesii
Discipline Entomology
Idioporus affinis; Encarsiella noyesii
Biological Controls
Start year (duration)  1999 (Three Years)
Objectives Distribute two recently introduced (and established) natural enemies throughout the range of giant whitefly in California, determining where they can establish and provide control.

Quantitatively evaluate the impact of these two natural enemies introduced against the giant whitefly.

This project is targeted at a simple problem: can two newly-discovered natural enemies control a new pest whitefly in California? The pest whitefly, known locally as giant whitefly, is the species Aleurodicus dugesii, and is known naturally only from Mexico. It was first discovered in California in October, 1992. After trying several natural enemies from other related whiteflies without success, a team of researchers from UCR went to Mexico and discovered two new natural enemies. These were imported for initial research to the quarantine facility at UCR, and after state and federal approvals were obtained, were released into a limited number of research sites in October 1997. This project extends this research work by first allowing the natural enemy colonies to be expanded, and then by allowing us to establish field trials for these natural enemies throughout the infested region of California. Through these trials we hope to be able to determine if these natural enemies will be able to stop the damage caused by this whitefly, or if other natural enemies will need to be sought for use in California.

In the year 2000, we have coordinated with researchers throughout the infested region, have expanded our natural enemy colonies, and have shipped over 197,000 natural enemies to researchers in all the infested region. Our work for the next year should determine whether these natural enemies are suited to controlling the whitefly in the climate range that it is currently found

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