Bdour Muhammed Al-Shweily1*, Jawad Bulbul Al-Zaidawi2, Muhammed Jubair Hanawi1
The cucurbit fly, a pest responsible for significant economic losses in cucurbit crops, lays its eggs in the fruits and feeds on them. Consequently, extensive studies and experiments have been undertaken to identify optimal methods for its control. Due to the adverse effects of chemical pesticides on consumer health, particularly human health, the pursuit of alternative safe measures has been paramount. Among the prominent alternatives, biological control has garnered attention, wherein environmentally safe organisms such as nematodes and fungi are employed. This study examines their efficacy in controlling the insect larvae and pupae. The integration of these indigenous biological control agents yielded notable mortality rates for the targeted larvae and pupae. The highest rates were achieved when using a higher concentration of fungi, specifically 20×10^6 spore/mL, in combination with 100 infective juveniles/mL of nematodes (resulting in an 83.33% mortality rate for larvae and 80% mortality rate for pupae). Remarkably, the mortality rate of the treated larvae surpassed that of the treated pupae at identical concentrations of fungi and nematodes, implying that larvae exhibit greater sensitivity and responsiveness to biological control measures compared to pupae, which benefit from partial protection due to their cocoon enclosure, mitigating the impact of external influences.
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