Adult female E. formosa parasitoid wasp

The parasitoid wasp Encarsia formosa

The enclosed glasshouse environment represents ideal conditions for the release of natural predators and enemies of economically important agricultural pests, and a universal increase in pest resistance to chemical treatments has led to a necessary increase in the use of such biological control agents. It is therefore desirable to produce a glasshouse pesticide that is effective against the target pest without inflicting harm on any natural predators or enemies. Eden products are currently under investigation with regards to their impact on the following beneficial biological control agents:

Eden Research and Development - Impact on beneficials

Independent efficacy testing service i2LResearch (Cardiff) assessed mortality levels of beneficials in a series of laboratory trials in which parasitoid wasps E. formosa and E. eremicus, the predatory mirid bug M. caliginosus and the predatory mite A. swirskii were exposed to four different Eden products and the results were compared with mortality caused by the commercial standard spider mite and whitefly treatment bifenthrin (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Impact of Eden products (500 ppm) on beneficial agents

Figure 1. Impact of Eden products (500 ppm) on beneficial agents
Trials conducted by i2LResearch (Cardiff)


Effect of Eden products on beneficials

Wasps, predatory bugs and predatory mites were exposed to four different Eden products (at 500 ppm) and bifenthrin (label rate), and the level of survival was determined 48 hours later.

  • The independent trials indicated that bifenthrin was highly toxic against all species tested, but Eden terpene products were relatively non-toxic
  • Products H2Y-11 and H2Y-31 inflicted the least harm with virtually no impact on wasp and bug mortality
  • Predatory mites were more susceptible to Eden products and a higher level of mortality (48-86%) was observed for A. swiriskii

The release of biological control agents into glasshouses is an important tool for commercial agriculture and home gardeners as part of IPM programs. Eden products are good spider mite and whitefly control agents, and further investigations have shown that the products exert minimal impact on some of the beneficials that are used to fight these pest infestations. Following the results of these laboratory trials, full-scale small plot field tests will continue.


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