Insect-proof nets are thought to be effective physical barriers to protect tomato crops against several insect pests, including the invasive tomato pest, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). However, protected tomato crops are frequently infested by this destructive pest, and there is a higher infestation of plants closer to openings in Mediterranean greenhouses, suggesting that immigrating adults can easily walk on these protective materials and find a way to reach the crop. Laboratory bioassays were carried out to characterize the potential toxicity of α-cypermethrin-treated insect-proof nets (Agronet) against T. absoluta adults. The data showed that the net acts mainly through a variety of chronic sublethal effects rather than acute ones. Reduced longevity and, more markedly, a reduced number of laid eggs were observed after the moths were exposed to the treated net over the duration of their lifetimes. A Y-tube experiment showed that the treated net does not affect the T. absoluta olfaction cues for host location. In contrast, when the moths were given the option to choose either the treated or the untreated net in laboratory cages, they significantly preferred the untreated one. The toxicological significance and the functional implications of these subtle effects for the implementation of integrated T. absoluta management strategies are discussed.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.