Efficacy of rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis L., essential oil was assessed against twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae), as well as effects on the tomato, Lycopersicum esculatum Mill., host plant and biocontrol agents. Laboratory bioassay results indicated that pure rosemary oil and EcoTrol (a rosemary oil-based pesticide) caused complete mortality of spider mites at concentrations that are not phytotoxic to the host plant. The predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot is less susceptible to rosemary oil and EcoTrol than twospotted spider mite both in the laboratory and the greenhouse. Rosemary oil repels spider mites and can affect oviposition behavior. Moreover, rosemary oil and rosemary oil-based pesticides are nonpersistent in the environment, and their lethal and sublethal effects fade within 1 or 2 d. EcoTrol is safe to tomato foliage, flowers, and fruit even at double the recommended label rate. A greenhouse trial indicated that a single application of EcoTrol at its recommended label rate could reduce a twospotted spider mite population by 52%. At that rate, EcoTrol did not cause any mortality in P. persimilis nor did it affect their eggs. In general, EcoTrol was found to be a suitable option for small-scale integrated pest management programs for controlling twospotted spider mites on greenhouse tomato plants.
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Vol. 99 • No. 6