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WHAT IS TOMATO MOTH (TUTA ABSOLUTA)? HOW TO FIGHT?
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WHAT IS TOMATO MOTH (TUTA ABSOLUTA)? HOW TO FIGHT?
Tomato moth, Tuta absoluta, with its scientific name, was first seen in South America in the 1965s. In 2006, it entered the European continent from Spain. Thanks to the quarantine measures applied, the time to spread to Europe has been extended. Its spread has accelerated after the European continent. first time in Turkey was detected in 2009. The most important reason for this is that quarantine measures are not implemented among European Union countries. In addition to not applying quarantine measures, tomato moth has spread in our country in a very short time since it has a structure that reproduces and spreads very quickly. This harmful spreading to many provinces where tomato is produced causes serious damage.

Tomato moth is one of the most important tomato pests, besides tomato, it has also damaged many plants from the Solanaceae family. A local species of South American tomato moth, entry of Turkey to the Aegean and Mediterranean regions have done here and spread quickly. This pest is a very important factor that threatens our farmers. Tomato moth is seen especially in Aegean and Mediterranean regions where it enters the country and its population is increasing day by day. It has been observed that this spread has caused a lot of damage to the growing environments as it has increased after 2010. It was observed that this spread, which took place in about 1 year, caused damage to tomatoes by up to 100%.

Adult is thin, long, about 7 mm tall. Its grayish brown wings have black spots. The antennas resemble thread. Male individuals live 6-7 days, females live 10-15 days. A female moth lays 120-260 eggs throughout its life. It infects the eggs not only on tomatoes, but on all parts of the plant. The egg is 0.4 mm long. It has a cylindrical structure. It shows itself with its cream-yellow color. Eggs open in 4-5 days. The larvae hatching are cream-colored and have a black head. It resembles a caterpillar. This pest undergoes 4 larval periods. The length of 0.9 mm in the first period reaches 8 mm in the fourth period. Larvae live 13-15 days. From the 10th day, the color starts to turn pink. Pupa is 6 mm long and its color is light brown. It can give 12 generations per year. It is known that it multiplies faster in places where the Mediterranean climate is seen.

The larva of the tomato moth penetrates into the leaf, stem and fruits. It opens wide transparent spaces on the leaf. These spaces then turn brown and dry out. Although the voids formed by the pest in the fruit are irregular, it increases towards the stem part of the fruit. Black colored nutritional residues of the moth are visible in the gaps in the leaf and fruit. Especially the black residues on the leaves are remarkable. These holes opened in the fruits cause rot and damage. Since rotten and damaged fruits are not suitable for consumption and sale, it causes the labor given. Tomato moth can be mixed with other pests. Tomato moth is seen in more immature tomato fruits and the holes formed in the fruit are smaller in diameter than other pests. Tomato Moth, not taken precautions, It causes 50-100% harvest loss to the untreated plants and causes economic damage to the farmer. Unless action is taken, it causes the producer's labor to disappear. For this reason, precautions should be taken in advance, and this issue should be fought. 'How to fight tomato moth?' There are many methods developed to answer the question.

Cultural measures to be taken in the fight against tomato moth
All periods of tomato moth can be transported with seedlings, plant leftovers, tomato fruit, and can also be transported with crates, boxes and transport vehicles. Therefore, attention should be paid to ensure that these materials are not contaminated and quarantine measures should be taken during the transition of products to provinces or regions. If not cautious, it is transmitted to other harmful plants and causes great damage.

One of the biggest reasons for the spread of tomato moth is the use of seedlings with these pests during production. When using seedlings, care must be taken not to have pests on them. Likewise, the plants contaminated with harm must be removed from the production area. It is very important at this point that weeds, which are the hosts of the moth, are not kept in the production area and its surroundings.
Soil release and solarization, the destruction of pests and leftover plant residues left in the field after harvest, cultivation of non-host products, tulle covering the open areas in the greenhouse, irrigation and fertilization in accordance with the growing technique are among the cultural measures that can be taken in the fight against tomato moth.

Pheromone trap for tomato moth (tuta)
The pheromone trap is used by the manufacturer as a biotechnical method. These traps are mostly used for detecting the presence of tomato moth, collective capture and observation. The more harmful they are caught, the more they are prevented from reproducing and reproducing. Traps established since the seedling period are counted 2 times a week and recorded. These pheromones used for tomato moth attract only male individuals. The effect of a pheromone capsule lasts 6 weeks. Chemical and biotechnical struggle begins according to the number of moth caught in the traps. Pests from the trap and from the plant are sent to the institute for diagnosis.

Water trap
A few drops of dishwashing liquid are added into the basins filled with 40-60 cm water. Pheromone capsules are placed on the edges. The pests that come to the pheromone die by falling into the water and sink into the water thanks to the washing-up liquid in the water.

Delta trap
Delta traps are installed in the form of a roof. Adhesive plate is placed on the base and pheromone capsule is placed on it. The pests coming to the pheromone stick to the adhesive sheet.
Places and prices where pheromone trap can be obtained
Pheromone traps, which are a very effective capture and observation method, can be easily accessed from the internet. 'How much is a pheromone trap?', 'Where can I buy a pheromone trap?' Those who say, can browse the following websites.
Mechanical fight with tomato moth
It is a method applied by removing the damaged leaves, by which the pest is transmitted. This practice is exemplified in the study titled 'Removal of harmful and contaminated leaves from the environment and investigation of the effect of azadirachtin application in the fight of tomato moth, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)'. Plants in 5 rows in 10 m area were checked. If there are residues and contaminations of pests on the leaves of plants, they are left. However, the leaves were removed from the production area before the larvae reached maturity. Leaves covered with larvae were observed, the length of the holes formed by the larva and the period of the larvae were examined. When it was seen that the larva was at the beginning of the development period, the leaves were left for the next count.

The purpose of this is to observe the contribution of the healthy parts of the leaves that the pest has started to damage. This process continued until the harvest period. When the tomato fruits were first damaged, these damaged first fruits were removed from the environment. Then, NeemAzal-T / S was applied with a back sprayer at 15 days intervals, 3 times in a dose of 50 ml / 10l water.
As a result of this study, it was observed that the damage of tomato moth (tuta) was significantly reduced when mechanical combat and partial spraying were applied together. As a result, mechanical control and partial spraying proved to have a significant effect on the fight against tomato moth.

Biological control with tomato moth
More natural methods should be preferred before chemical in the fight against tomato moth. The methods applied to get rid of the pest can also damage the product. To minimize this damage, biological control methods should be tried first. If chemical control is required, all the protection drugs should be used that will minimize the damage to natural enemies. At this point, attention should be paid to the protection of benefits.

Tomato moth entered the Mediterranean countries towards the end of 2006. However, many natural enemies of this pest have been identified. There are many natural enemies in nature, especially Nesidiocarus tenius. Trichogramma pretiosum Riley and Podisus nigrispinus Nesidiocorus tenuis are the most effective beneficial agents in the fight against Macrlophus caliginosus tomato moth. It is also among the natural enemies of tomato moth. From these natural enemies, Trichogramma spp. (Hym .: Trichogrammatidae) parasitizes the pest's eggs, while Braconidae, Eulophidae and Chalcididae are effective during the larvae of the pest. Nesidiocorus tenuis and Macrolophus caliginosus (Hem .: Miridae) feed on the pest's eggs and larvae.
Larvae spend most of their time in the gallery. However, second period larvae can go out of the gallery for reasons such as temperature and food consumption. This situation is very important for biological control. While the larvae are going out of the gallery, it will be easier to parasitize or hunt by natural enemies.

Chemical control with tomato moth
Chemical control is not always the first method of choice. If tomato moth cannot be coped with natural methods, chemical control techniques are applied. At this point, spraying time, spraying technique, plant protection products and doses to be used, tools and machines to be used are very important. From the beginning of production, sexually attractive pheromone traps are used in the field and greenhouse to determine the presence of tomato moth and for observation. Their number is determined as 1-2 traps per week in the field and 1 trap in the greenhouse. When the first pest is detected in the trap, at least 100 plants are checked in the production area. This number may vary depending on the size of the production area. It is checked whether the plant is on the days of flowers, leaves, stems, fruit and time, whether there are eggs and larvae.

Technique is very important in spraying. The drug should reach all parts of the plant. The drug should reach the lower surface of the leaf, in particular. Application should be done in a way to cover all parts of the plant. Spraying time is also important at this point. Plants should be checked approximately 1 week after application. If necessary, re-spraying should be done.

There are points to be considered during the selection of plant protection products to be used in order to protect the fruits from pests. At this stage, drugs licensed by the ministry should be used. When using these drugs, it is also necessary to pay attention to their dosage. We can list these drugs and their active ingredients together with their doses as follows: 45g / l Chlorantraniliprole + 18g / l Abamectin (Sera) - 80 ml / 100 liters of water, Spinosad 480 g / l (Sera) - 25 ml / 100 liters of water, Metaflumizone 240 g / l (Field-Greenhouse) - 100 ml / da, Azadirachtin 10g / l (Greenhouse) - 300ml / 100lt water (2 spraying with 7 days interval)

When using these drugs, the time period between the last spraying and harvest is determined as 3 days. Plant protection drugs can be easily obtained from the internet. Those who want to access these drugs immediately can browse the websites below.
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