Effects of Application of Various Reduced-risk Pesticides to Tomato, with Notes on Control of Greenhouse Whitefly

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  • 1 Current address: Longwood Gardens, P.O. Box 501, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
  • | 2 Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO, 80523.

Experiments conducted in greenhouse and field environments investigated the acute and chronic phytotoxic effects of several house-hold and commercially available soaps, detergents, and oils applied to tomato (Lycoperiscum esculentum Mill.). In addition, the effect of these treatments on greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporarium (Westwood), was investigated. In the greenhouse experiments, the number of whiteflies observed was negatively correlated with phytotoxicity (i.e., higher phytotoxicity = fewer whiteflies). Ivory Clear detergent at two rates of application (0.5% or 2.0%) caused the greatest phytotoxicity to seedling tomato plants. Addition of vegetable oils to a 0.5% Ivory Clear detergent solution did not affect phytotoxicity to the plants. While commercially available insecticidal soap (M-Pede) and a neem seed extract (Margosan-O) had little phytotoxicity, they provided only a slight reduction of whitefly populations. A field experiment conducted in the absence of insect pressure showed phytotoxic effects to tomato plants as a result of continued treatment with New Ivory detergent. Significantly lower yield from this treatment resulted from reduced flower and/or fruit production. None of the other compounds in the field experiment significantly affected the yield of tomato plants.

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