Use of Natural Enemies to Control Pests on Deciduous Fruit Trees

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The use of pheromone traps to control lepidopteran pests on deciduous fruit trees opened new possibilities for IPM programs to control spider mites in Japan. The non-selective pesticides formerly used to control harmful moth larvae also wiped out native natural enemies of spider mites. Now that growers are adopting IPM programs using sex pheromone traps for moths, the conservation of natural enemies has become very important. A method of evaluating each natural enemy species in orchards has recently been proposed. New monitoring traps for predacious mites of the family Phytoseiidae are also described. These may help us understand this important group of natural enemies of mite pests. Details of the traps and their value in applied and basic agricultural science are discussed.

Hiroshi Amano
Akio Takafuji
Kyoto University