Effectiveness of some bio-pesticides against the dust mite (Oligonychus afrasiaticus McGregor, 1939) in date palm
The dust mite (Oligonychus afrasiaticus McGregor, 1939) (Acari: Tetranychidae) is becoming increasingly important as a pest of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) in Saudi Arabia and other date producing countries of the Middle-East. There are several disadvantages associated with the use of chemical pesticides against the dust mite and other pests of date palm, including residues in the fruit, resistance to chemical pesticides, and resurgence of minor pests to major pests, besides contamination of the environment. We tested four bio-pesticides viz. Abamectin, Parafin oil, Matrin and Sulphur along with water as a treatment in a spray schedule at fortnightly (15-day) interval commencing at Khalal fruit stage. Each of the above bio-pesticide was tested in a 3, 4 and 5 spray schedule. Results revealed that Abamectin1.8% gave the best control of dust mite with no injury to the fruit when the bunches were sprayed thrice followed by Matrin also adopting the 3 spray schedule. As regards water sprays, it was seen that a 5-spray schedule using water resulted in statistically similar control of the pest recorded in a 3-spray schedule of either Parafin oil, Matrin and Sulphur.