Biological control: Beneficial insects and mites: Nesidiocoris-System
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In recent years, the predatory mirid bug Nesidiocoris tenuis has become an important player in the battle against whitefly in vegetable production, such as tomato and eggplant.
Both larval and adult stages of this predator are very voracious and can cover considerable distance in the crop to seek its prey.

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Nesidiocoris tenuis is a predatory mirid bug that can be found in nature in the Mediterranean region and on the
Canary Islands.
There are five nymph stages before molting into an adult stage. Only the adult is able to fly. Nesidiocoris has a large
appetite and feeds on several species of insects and mites. The larvae of whitefly are its primary prey but Nesidiocoris also feeds on several species of insects and mites. The larvae cycle depends largely on host plant and prey. Hairy plants like tomato or eggplant are most preferable. On tomato, it takes the nymph of Nesidiocoris seven days to emerge from an egg and 14 days to develop to an adult. Nesidiocoris has a shorter life cycle when it feeds on eggs or larvae of whitefly or moth than on thrips or mites. Nesidiocoris can feed on plant juices, which can cause damage to stems and leaves. However, this situation only occurs when population of Nesidiocoris is high (especially if concurrent pest population is low). This can be avoided by accurately estimating the pest population in the crop to introduce the right quantity of beneficial insects.

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Nesidiocoris tenuis has no negative impact on other beneficial insects used against whitefly. In order to optimize
control of whitefly, a combination of Nesidiocoris with whitefly parasitoids such as Eretmocerus mundus,
Eretmocerus eremicus and Encarsia formosa is the best strategy.
Introduce Nesidiocoris in whitefly hotspots or in location where outbreaks are expected or detected in previous
seasons. The introduction of these bugs in spider mite hot spots also gives excellent results. Introduce Nesidiocoris at an average rate of 0.5 bugs /m². In order to increase chances of mating, it is better to release Nesidiocoris in a few spots instead of spreading it over the entire greenhouse; this can be done making piles of approximately 20 to 30 bugs on leaf or in a Biobox. Initial introduction rate should not exceed 1-1.5 Nesidiocoris/m².
If necessary, a second introduction of 0.3 to 0.5 Nesidiocoris /m² can be done over the entire production area.
Development of Nesidiocoris is influenced by temperature and photoperiod; warm temperatures and long days speed up development. Therefore, it is recommended to introduce Nesidiocoris during spring and summer. Decreasing day length and lower temperatures slow down development rate and predatory activity of Nesidiocoris.

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Biobest offers Nesidiocoris-System in bottles containing 500 predatory bugs (adults and final nymph stage) in a
mixture of vermiculite and tobacco leaf.
Nesidiocoris-System can be stored for a couple of days at a temperature of 8-10°C.

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Nesidiocoris can exceptionally cause crop damage (such as poor fruit setting, flower drop, feeding spots on fruit,
irregular shaped flowers, clusters and fruits) when the following conditions occur:

  • A large population of Nesidiocoris in the crop: 100 or more bugs per plant or 50 bugs in the apical zone;
  • Few or no prey available;
  • Reduced fruit set caused by unfavorable climatic conditions or strong vegetative growth;
  • Sensitive crops and varieties, e.g. cherry tomatoes and small-truss tomato types.
For controlling: Tuta absoluta
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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.
This leafminer is also found in other ‘nightshade’ crops.
Tuta is native to South America. Since 2006 this species is also found in the Mediterranean, and recently in Western Europe.

Controllable in these crops:
  • Mainly used for whitefly control
  • Has a significant predation on Tuta absoluta eggs and young larvae
  • Introduce a total of 0.5 - 2 Nesidiocoris/m², over 2-4 releases with a 1-2 week interval
  • Use of Nutrimac (Ephestia eggs) to quicken the population development
  •  Nesidiocoris develops slowly, early introduction is recommended
  • Warning: Nesidiocoris can cause crop damage (for more info see technical sheet)
Technical sheet
Controllable pests:
Contact Biobest
Biobest Belgium N.V.
Ilse Velden 18
2260 Westerlo
BE - Belgium
T: +32 14 257 980
F: +32 14 257 982