Case Study Update: QLD – mites and mealybugs major problems

Grower name: Daniel Nicoletti
Location: Pozieres, near Stanthorpe Qld
What are the main IPDM issues being focussed on? Main issues are mites, mealybugs, and QFF.

Codling moth and black spot are under control via chemical sprays timed according to monitoring of moth numbers in traps and weather conditions affecting disease infection periods.

Mites and mealybugs have become major problems. This could be due to pesticide resistance or side effects on beneficials.

What are you doing currently with IPDM? The Action Plan aims to reduce pest status of mites and mealybugs, without causing outbreaks of codling moth, within the next two seasons. The plan includes:

·        Investigate comparison between current mite monitoring interpretation and use of cumulative leaf infested days (CLIDs)

·        Investigate impact of introducing Chilean predator mite P.persimilis in autumn to clean up mite populations

·        Investigate/implement mealybug monitoring program to better indicate when crawlers move out onto foliage and fruit and therefore be more susceptible to sprays.

·        Develop plots in orchard where some potentially disruptive chemicals are removed and compare these to areas where those chemicals were retained

·        Develop sampling plan for pest populations and levels of damage, then implement plan

What has worked well? What hasn’t? Lack of water is complicating things by stressing trees (but has probably helped in management of black spot).

Need more information to be available on impact of pesticides on non-target species.

Need to keep on top of monitoring results and advice.

What would you do differently next time? Cryptolaemus appears to prefer egg-laying mealybugs but longtailed mealybugs do not lay eggs so may not be a good host. Need to look for a better predator for this pest.

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