The most serious insect pest problems affecting the cultivation of mushroom [Agaricus bisporus (Lange) Imbach] in Turkey are mushroom flies (sciarids, cecids and phorids). Mushroom phorid fly, Megaselia halterata (Wood), is the most common insect pest species during April-October. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential for eight botanical materials (two commercial neem-based products and six hot-water plant extracts) to control M. halterata populations in three successive growing periods.
Treatment efficacy was evaluated by assessing adult emergence and sporophore damage rates compared with that of a standard insecticide, chlorpyrifos-ethyl (positive control). All plant extracts caused significant reductions in the mean number of emerging adults and sporophore damage rates compared with the water-treated control (negative control). Reduction in adult emergence in both neem treatments, Neemazal and Greeneem oil, was greater than that in the positive control. While Neemazal and Origanum onites L. extract had significantly lower sporophore damage rates than the positive control, there were no significant differences between the chlorpyrifos-ethyl, Greeneem oil and Pimpinella anisum L. extract treatments.
The results suggest that both neem products and hot-water extracts of O. onites and P. anisum may be potential alternatives to conventional pesticides for the control of mushroom phorid fly.