Submitted to: Arthropod Management Tests
Publication Type: Research notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Whiteflies are small plant-sucking insects that infest the leaves of many important vegetable crops. Currently, the only means of controlling this pest is to use weekly applications of insecticides. The objective of this study was to investigate a new technology, Particle Film, for the control of whitefly. Particle Film is based on an inert mineral, kaolin. It protects plants by forming a protective particle barrier that is sprayed onto plant surfaces. Two different particle film formulations were evaluated: M-96-018 which makes a hydrophobic barrier and M-97-009 which makes a hydrophilic barrier. Weekly applications were made by tractor- mounted sprayer on 10 & 17 Sept; and 1, 7 & 15 Oct. Evaluations were made on immature whitefly infestations on pepper leaves weekly beginning 8 Sept. There were essentially no significant differences among particle film treated plots and the untreated control plot. Therefore, particle film technology does not appear to have activity against whitefly. Particle films are white and reflect heat which may be of value in preventing heat stress in pepper.
Technical Abstract: The whitefly, B. argentifolii, is a severe pest of bell peppers in southern Texas. Currently, many applications of chemical insecticides are used to manage this pest. The objective of this study was to determine if two new kaolin-based particle film protective barriers had the potential to control whitefly. The research plots consisted of 6 rows of bell peppers, 'Capistrano', arranged in a RCB design with three replications. The kaolin formulations included M-96-018 (hydrophobic film) and M-97-009(hydrophilic film) manufactured by Engelhard Corp. (Iselin, NJ). Twenty-five pounds of M-96-018 had to be pre-slurried with 4 gal of 98% methanol before being added to 100 gal water. Twenty-five pounds of M-97-009 required the use of 14 oz. an adjuvant,MO3 (Engelhard Corp., Iselin, NJ). An untreated control and MO3 control (1 pt/100 gal water) were included in the trial. Applications were made using a tractor-mounted, high pressure boom sprayer. .Evaluations were made by counting live whitefly immatures (unhatched eggs+nymphs+pupal cases) in one circular area (2 cm2) of leaf surface on 10 plants/rep. Pre-treatment (8 Sept) populations of whitefly immatures were high. Following treatment applications, there were essentially no significant differences among the treatments and controls except on 23 Sept where M-96-018 had significantly higher numbers than the other treatments. Despite higher whitefly numbers in the M-6-018 treatment, yield was the highest for M-96-018, but not statistically significant. Particle films do not appear to offer control of whitefly, but the white heat reflecting property of the particle films may be of use in reducing heat stress which could lead to higher yields in pepper.