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CDFA Plant Health

Curly Top Virus: Biological Control

Biological Control of the Beet Leafhopper

In an effort to reduce pesticide use and develop alternative controls for the beet leafhopper, the CTVCP contracted the University of California at Riverside (UCR) in 1989, to develop a long-term biological control strategy. The Department of Entomology at UCR proposed foreign exploration for BLH egg parasites and evaluated the effectiveness of Anagrus nigriventris Girault (=A. giraulti Crawford), a native egg parasite of BLH.

From two exploration trips to Iran during 1995 and 1998, a total of nine species of BLH egg parasites were initially imported and successfully cultured.

The seven egg parasite species are listed below:

Mymariadae
Mymaridae

Trichogrammatidae
Trichogrammatidae

A total of 120,000 parasites have been released through 1998. Both UCR and the CTVCP sampled BLH host plants in release sites in an attempt to verify establishment of the egg parasite species previously released. Aphelinoidea anatolica has been recovered from more locations than any other parasite species.