Although a number of natural enemies for control of horticultural pests
are available from overseas companies, it is impractical to import natural
enemies in large numbers into South Africa because of environmental concerns and
import restrictions, and distance and costs involved.
A joint initiative by ARC-PPRI Insect Ecology Division together with the
Tomato Producers' Organisation aims to utilise South Africa’s fauna of natural
enemies (parasitic wasps and predacious insects, mites and spiders) for the
biological control of the ten most important insect and six most important mite
pests on tomatoes as listed in Table 1.
Table 1. Key insect and mite
pests of tomato recorded in South Africa
Survey of natural enemies
Qualitative surveys of natural enemies of key pests in three tomato-producing
areas in the Northern Province, the North-West Province, and Gauteng Province,
have been conducted. During the surveys, 42 sites in the three provinces were
visited from November 1999 to April 2000. Based on the results of these recent
surveys, scientific literature and records of specimens collected previously,
potential biological control agents were selected for further evaluation against
the ten most important insect and six most important mite pests on tomatoes.