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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Influence of non-crop plants on stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and natural enemy abundance in tomatoes

Published source details

Pease C.G. & Zalom F.G. (2010) Influence of non-crop plants on stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and natural enemy abundance in tomatoes. Journal of Applied Entomology, 134, 626-636

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Pest regulation: Plant flowers Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2003 in organic tomato fields in the Sacramento Valley, California, USA, found that a higher percentage of stink-bug eggs were parasitized near planted flower borders than near bare borders. Pest regulation: Parasitism of consperse stink bug Euschistus conspersus eggs was significantly higher near borders planted with sweet alyssum Lobularia maritima than it was near bare borders in September (41 vs 22%), but not in July or August (early July: 9 vs 6%; late July–early August: 47 vs 40%). Natural enemy numbers: There were not significantly more predators near flower borders, compared to bare borders (3 vs 2–5 individuals/sample), except for spined stilt bugs Jalysus wickhami in June (2 vs 0). Methods: In each of four tomato fields, one 23 m border was planted with 60 alyssum plants and one border was tilled and left bare. Eight (3 and 31 July) or ten (5 September) masses of stink bug eggs were placed on the undersides of tomato leaves at each of three distances (0.3, 6, and 15 m) from each border. Yellow sticky traps were placed at four (18 June: 0.3, 1.5, 6, and 15 m) or three (26 August: 0.3, 6, and 15 m) distances, to sample predators. Eggs and cards were collected after 6–7 days.