Tomato: don’t let your Macrolophus go hungry!

The beneficial bug Macrolophus pygmaeus is the number one option for successful whitefly biocontrol. But it needs a good start. So don’t forget to feed it well.

At this time of the year, glasshouse tomato growers in Western Europe are preparing to protect their crops against tomato enemy number one: whitefly. A good biocontrol strategy is based on the release of the beneficial bug Macrolophus pygmaeus.

Macrolophus needs a couple of months to establish in the crop, especially when there is little or no prey-‘meat’ available. Therefore it is strongly recommended to provide enough extra food during the installation phase of Macrolophus in the greenhouse.

“By using our broad range of feeding products and following our specialist advice, it is perfectly possible to build up a strong army of beneficials which will be ready when the first pest insects arrive,” says Pascal Briand, sustainable crop management specialist at Biobest.

Nutrimac™ and Nutrimac Plus™  are made of tiny moth eggs, rich in protein. Artemac™ is made of cysts of the brine shrimp.

Pascal’s general advice is as follows: “Growers should start feeding with Nutrimac™ or Nutrimac™ Plus on Macrolophus release points, followed by Nutrimac™ Plus or Artemac™ during 6 to 7 weeks after release. Both food supplements are suitable for Macrolophus adults and nymphs depending on specific circumstances this general advice can be fine-tuned".

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