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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 756: International Symposium on Medicinal and Nutraceutical Plants

FEVERFEW AS A COMPANION CROP REDUCES SPIDER MITES, WHITEFLIES AND THRIPS IN OTHER MEDICINAL PLANTS

Authors:   R. López, B.M. Shepard
Keywords:   companion crop, spider mites, whiteflies, thrips, Phytoseiulus persimilis, Geocoris punctipes, Orius insidiosus, feverfew, Echinacea, tansy
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.756.3
Abstract:
Feverfew {Tanacetum parthenium (L.)} Schultz-Bip, Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench, and Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L.) were planted as single crops or in combinations of feverfew, tansy and E. purpurea during 2005 and 2006. The species and abundance of arthropod pests monitored on these plants included two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae Koch), whiteflies {Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius)} biotype B and thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis). Among the predators, Orius insidiosus (Say) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae), Geocoris punctipes (Say) (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae) and spiders were most abundant in plots where Feverfew and Echinacea were planted together. Orius insidiosus and G. punctipes were 3–4 times more abundant in plots of feverfew than from any of the other medicinal plant species. Our research demonstrated that feverfew could be used as a companion crop or “banker” plant to attract and maintain predators, especially O. insidiosus and G. punctipes. The community of predators that build up in feverfew were shown to reduce populations of whiteflies, thrips and spider mites on E. purpurea when these crops were planted together.

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