Submitted to: Agriculture Ecosystems and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2002
Publication Date: 4/1/2003
Citation: Showler, A. 2003. Effects of kaolin particle film on beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), oviposition and larval feeding and development on cotton, (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Agriculture Ecosystems and the Environment. 95(1):265-271. Interpretive Summary: Kaolin particle film has, in other studies, been shown to reduce insect pest injury to various crops, including boll weevil damage to cotton squares. This study shows that kaolin acts as a deterrent to adult beet armyworm oviposition and as an effective larvicide, especially to young larvae. Given these attributes, kaolin might be useful as a less toxic means of controlling beet armyworms in cotton and other crops.
Technical Abstract: Wettable powder kaolin, a reflective white mineral, has been shown to reduce boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman, damage to cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., squares and foliage. In a series of laboratory and outdoor cage assays, kaolin was assessed for its effects on beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), oviposition, and larval feeding preference and development. In choice and no-choice assays gravid beet armyworm females deposited 31% more (P < 0.0001) eggs on the controls than on kaolin treated cotton plants. Kaolin treated foliage caused complete mortality within 4 d to first instars, and significantly higher mortality to late second instars. Feeding injury caused by third instars to kaolin treated cotton leases was reduced (P < 0.05) as compared to controls. The possible utility of kaolin as a less toxic alternative pest management tactic to conventional insecticides is discussed.