Using banker plants as a biocontrol system for spidermites

Lelan Parker, Juanita Popenoe


Biological control is the most environmentally friendly control measure for pests, but the most difficult to learn. Greenhouse and nursery growers have been slow to adopt biocontrol partly because of the difficulty in identifying, purchasing, and monitoring biocontrol agents. A banker plant system to control one of the most common greenhouse pests—spidermites—was used in a grower demonstration project. The obstacles to effective use were identified as how often to reintroduce infested banker plants and the best way to distribute the banker plants in the crop. The results of the demonstration project were used in a grower field day to get more growers to try, and hopefully adopt some biocontrol agents.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283