A range of infestation levels of the whitefly Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring were established across experimental field plots of cantaloupe by varying insecticide treatments to evaluate the relationships between whitefly density and crop yield and quality. High levels of whitefly adults and immatures were associated with significant reductions in fruit yield, a decrease in fruit size, and an increase in the percentage of fruits with sooty mold. Yield loss rates (kg/ha/adult or nymph) decreased in a nonlinear fashion with increasing whitefly numbers. Estimated economic injury levels varied as a function of whitefly density, whitefly stage, control cost, crop cultivar, and crop season. Estimates of economic injury levels for one ($31.2/ha), five ($156/ha), and 10 ($312/ha) insecticide treatments ranged from 0.02 to 0.39, from 0.12 to 1.96, and from 0.24 to 3.92 adults/leaf, and from 0.20 to 5.43, from 0.98 to 27.17, and from 1.97 to 54.35 nymphs/6.45 cm2, respectively.
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Vol. 94 • No. 1