The tomato leaf miner causes major problem in some areas of Greece, while in others the problem is manageable

The tomato leaf miner

Last year, the pest commonly known as the tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta) caused major problem to both outdoor and greenhouse crops, in Preveza (northwestern Greece) and Ierapetra (southern Greece), while the problem was manageable in Amaliada and Kyparissia (western Greece). Agronomists and producers of those regions talked to Agrotypos about the problem they face because of this serious pest of tomato that has developed insecticide resistance and also has many generations per growing season. This season the problem is expected to intensify in Greece because of the mild winter, which induce excessive increased insect population.

According to Agrotypos reportage in Preveza and Ierapetra the last year’s outdoor tomato production was dramatically reduced because of exacerbation of the problem caused by the tomato leaf miner. Moreover producers of greenhouse tomato faced the problem of insecticide resistance development in most of the pesticide formulation types, which led in great loss of production and in some cases in 100% loss. This year the growers of outdoor tomato turned their interest to other crops, while producers of greenhouse tomato try various combinations of insecticides to address the problem. The problem seems to be more serious this year compared to the last year because the winter was mild and the active overwintering stages of this insect survive.

On the other hand there are regions, such as Amaliada and Kyparissia, where the insect has not developed large population or insecticide resistance. In these regions the integrated pest management seems to be the only way leading to sufficient production without major problems for both outdoor and greenhouse production.

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