Scarlet mite Raoiella indica Hirst (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) is an important sucking pest on young arecanut palms during dry weather in areca growing tracts. The registered insecticides that provide adequate control of the pests need repeated application in higher doses which result in adverse effects on the environment and health. In order to circumvent the problems, replacement of conventional insecticides with new powerful molecules at lower dose is necessary. Hence, a replicated field experiment was conducted at five different locations for two consecutive years (2008/2009 and 2009/2010). Two sprays each of the new molecules fenazaquin (10EC at 1.5 ml/L), diafenthiuran (50WP at 1.2 g/L) and propargite (57EC at 0.5 ml/L) were compared with wettable sulphur (80% WDG at 2.5 g/L), dicofol (20EC at 2.5 ml/L), azadirachtin 1300 ppm (0.03% at 3 ml/L) and untreated control. Pooled results showed that five days after spray, all the treatments recorded significantly less number of mites (per cm2 leaf) as against control. Propargite and diafenthiuran were on par with each other and were significantly superior over dicofol and wettable sulphur by registering the lowest number of mites. Fenazaquin was on par with dicofol and wettable sulphur with less number of mites. However, the botanical azadirachtin recorded maximum number of mites. Results suggested that the new molecules, propargite (57EC at 0.5 ml/L) or diafenthiuran (50WP at 1.2 g/L) can be used for effective management of mites in arecanut. Further, fenazaquin (10EC at 1.5 ml/L) can also be used as an alternative to existing conventional insecticides.
Key words: Raoiella indica Hirst, arecanut mite management.
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