Document Type


Publication Date



To enhance food security, food safety, and environmental health, a bio-based integrated pest management (BIPM) strategy was evaluated at two coastal locations in Lebanon as an alternative to toxic pesticide sprays in commercial high-arched plastic tunnels common in many countries. The evaluation occurred during two cucumber and pepper cropping seasons: spring and fall. At each site, two commercial tunnels were used; farmers’ conventional practices were applied in one tunnel, while the BIPM approach was followed in the second tunnel. In the farmers’ practices, a total of 14 sprays of insecticide/acaricide mixtures were applied during the spring growing season, and 6 sprays were applied during the fall. In the BIPM tunnels, hotspot releases of local strains of Amblyseius swirskii and Phytoseiulus persimilis were applied. By the end of the spring season, the number of whitefly nymphs (WFNs)/leaf and thrips/leaf in the pesticide treatment were 4.8 and 0.06, respectively, compared to 0.1 and 0.33, respectively, in the BIPM treatment. Similarly, at the end of the fall season, the WFNs reached 19.7/leaf in the pesticide control as compared to 1.2/leaf in the BIPM treatment, proving the efficacy of A. swirskii. Farmers using conventional acaricides during both cropping seasons failed to control Tetranychus urticae, the two-spotted spider mite (TSSM). However, hotspot releases of P. persimilis were successful in controlling TSSM. By the end of June, the number of TSSMs reached 7.8/leaf in the BIPM treatment compared to 53/leaf in the pesticide treatment. Likewise, in December, TSSM numbers reached 9/leaf in the BIPM treatment compared to 40/leaf in the pesticide treatment. Preliminary observations of pepper showed that both predatory mites (A. swirskii and P. persimilis) gave similar or better efficacy against the three pests. The two local predatory phytoseiid mites seem to be effective in controlling these three major pests and to be adapted to local environmental conditions. A rate of increase of 0.86 was observed for P. persimilis and 0.22 for A. swirskii, in June, when maximum temperatures were close to 40 °C. This also shows a compatibility between the two predators. In conclusion, our BIPM approach was efficient under a Mediterranean climate in arched plastic tunnels with relatively poor aeration.


This article was originally published in Plants, volume 13, in 2024. (1238 kB)
Supplementary materials


The authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.