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Focus on Tuta absoluta, more than ever!

Tuta absoluta is a small leafminer belonging to Gelechiidae family (Order: Lepidoptera). It causes economic damage, especially in tomato, with potential harvest losses up to 50-100% in untreated crops. The Tuta larva pierces into leaves, stems and fruits. Also, secondary infections can occur at damaged sites. Tuta is native to South America. Since 2006 this species is also found in the Mediterranean, and recently in Western Europe. Tuta absoluta is considered today as one of the main pests in tomato. All stages can be found at the same time.

Damage manifests itself by the presence of bladder-shaped mines. Larvae feed on mesophyll tissue, hollowing out the leaf and leaving only the transparant epidermis. The larva deposits its excrements at the end of the mine. After some time, mines turn brownish and become necrotic.

Larvae can leave mines to attack other parts of the plant; for instance, they can penetrate in young stems and fruits. Affected fruits show boreholes under and around the sepal. Close to a borehole on a stem or fruit, heaps of dark, granular excrements are often found. Affected fruits are unsuitable for sale and consumption.

Biobest's portfolio includes traps, lures and pheromones to support the monitoring of this pest (preventive) and if found, to trap and catch the leafminers (curative) in a very sufficient way. Biobest developed a poster to inform growers about the pest itself as to all available Biobest solutions.

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