Submitted to: Entomology International Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Particle film technology was recently developed at AFRS, Kearneysville, WV as a method for controlling arthropod pests & diseases of agricultural and horticultural crops. The film is based on the inert mineral, kaolin, that is purified and has had its size & shape specifically modified to enable it to coat plants with a protective barrier that will not interfere with photosynthesis. The hydrophobic kaolin particle, M-96-018, was the first prototype of particle film technology applied to trees as dust to make the plant surfaces water repellent. This material suppressed arthropod pests and diseases by a number of different mechanisms. Fungal and bacterial diseases that require moisture to become infective were suppressed by coating the plant with a hydrophobic particle film barrier that prevented disease inoculum or water from directly contacting the leaf surface. Arthropod infestations were suppressed by particle films for several reasons. Plants coated with a hydrophobic particle film barrier become visually or tactilely unrecognizable as a host. In addition, insect move- ment, feeding, oviposition, and other activities can also be severely impaired by the attachment of particles to the arthropods bodies as they crawled upon the film. Tests comparing hydrophobic and hydrophilic particle films found that both insects and diseases were controlled equally by both types of films, indicating that only a physical barrier of hydrophilic kaolin was required. However, particle film mineral type and formulation was found to affect arthropod species differently with regard to survival, oviposition, and particle attachment to the arthropod cuticle. Particle films have been field tested for several years and many types of arthropod pests have been controlled in a variety of crops.