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  • 1 Szent István University Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Plant Protection H-2103 Gödöllő Páter K. u. 1 Hungary
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Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) is one of the most important pests of greenhouse pepper in Hungary. It has a hidden lifestyle, a short generation interval and a high reproductive rate. Due to these characteristics it is difficult to obtain an effective, environment-friendly and harmless control of the pest. Previous studies have shown that under caged plant conditions, the common crab spider, Xysticus kochi (Thorell) (Araneae: Thomisidae) is effective against western flower thrips. In this study, we examined some of the technological questions of the use of spider larvae.We investigated the necessary amount and number of applications of spider larvae under caged plant conditions. The efficiency of spiders at the whole greenhouse level was also studied. While the ratio of damaged surface of peppers treated with X . kochi was significantly lower than that of non-treated plants, increasing the amount of spider larvae did not improve the effectiveness of thrips control. Although whole greenhouse experiences showed a similar, significant decrease in the rate of damaged surface in the case of peppers treated with spider larvae, when compared to untreated control; the efficiency of spiders remained below the level of economic acceptance.

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