Insecticides Required to Meet Consumer Demands for Blemish-Free Carrots in the EU

nasty carrots

Carrot Fly Damage

Carrot is one of the most important vegetable crops in the EU with 6 billion pounds of annual production. The carrot fly is the major insect pest of the carrot crop in Europe. Before the introduction of insecticides in the 1950s, the carrot fly typically damaged 20-50% of the carrots grown in Europe. In some parts of Europe, the damage from the carrot fly was so severe that it was not profitable to grow carrots. Today, European carrot growers spray insecticides to prevent damage from the carrot fly.

“Carrot fly, is the most widespread and serious pest of carrot, parsnip, parsley and certain other umbelliferous herbs in temperate regions of the world. … The insect has two and, in some parts of Britain, Europe and New Zealand, three generations each year. Adult insects feed on the nectar and pollen provided by flowers and spend most of their life in the hedgerows, ditches or amongst herbaceous plants in gardens. Females search out carrot plants to lay their eggs which are inserted in crevices around the crown of the host plant. The larvae, which emerge from the eggs, migrate downwards to feed on plant roots.

Carrots grown commercially can be rendered unmarketable by even slight carrot fly damage.

To meet the stringent levels of blemish-free produce demanded by the supermarkets in the UK and Europe, commercial carrot production depends precariously on a few insecticides to control this pest.”

Author: Ellis, P. R.
Affiliation: Horticulture Research International, UK.
Title: The identification and exploitation of resistance in carrots and wild Umbelliferae to the carrot fly, Psila rosae (F.)
Source: Integrated Pest Management Reviews. 1999. 4:259-268.

Insect Pests in Eden: Sprays Are Mandatory

The Eden Project

The Eden Project

The Eden Project was designed as a world class visitor destination to celebrate the interdependence of plants and people and to educate people about the need to care for the world that cares for them.

The project site, located in a recently decommissioned china clay quarry near St Austell, Cornwall, UK, is 105 hectares in size and consists of two large enclosed biomes set in gardens (outdoors biome) along with an educational resources building (the core) and a visitor reception building.

With two large indoor biomes covering the humid tropics and warm temperature climates, the outdoor biome with a range of temperate environments, plus several catering facilities, a warehouse and a waste recycling yard, pest management at Eden is very broad with many challenges in all areas.

Despite the procedures put in place for interception, a steady stream of introductions of pest and non-pest invertebrate species has occurred in the RFB.

“Unfortunately, during the early years of the project a number of non-indigenous pest species were introduced into the Rain Forest Biome (RFB) and not successfully eliminated. Currently there are five species that are the subjects of a containment notice issued by DEFRA; banana borer, banana aphid, atratus white fly, coconut mealybug and latin aphid. The containment notice dictates that the Eden Project has to monitor the populations of these pests and maintain pesticide programmes to control their populations.

In January 2002, adults of Tobacco White Fly were detected on leaf samples collected from the RFB. This discovery instigated the placement of an eradication order by DEFRA which initiated the immediate implementation of monitoring and a chemical control programme.

Eradication was achieved after a two year intensive spray programme involving repeated biome-wide sprays using a range of chemicals including buprofezin, thiacloprid, pymetrozine and nicotine.”

Author: Treseder, K., et al.
Affiliation: Eden Project.
Title: Evolution of Pest-Management Strategies in the Rain-Forest Biome at the Eden Project, the First 10 Years.
Source: Outlooks on Pest Management. February 2011. Pgs. 22-31.