• Dysaphis plantaginea;
  • organic agriculture;
  • particle film technology;
  • pest control;
  • Surround® WP

Abstract:  Autumn applications of the repellent processed-kaolin particle film (Surround® WP) might be an alternative to the insecticides commonly used in spring to control the rosy apple aphid, Dysaphis plantaginea (Pass.) (Hom., Aphididae). To assess the mode of action and the impact of kaolin on autumn forms of D. plantaginea, trials were conducted in field cages and in open-fields in autumn 2003. Choice and no-choice experiments in field cages showed that winged aphids landed in significantly lower numbers and gave birth to significantly fewer females on kaolin-treated branches compared with the untreated control. In a first open-field trial, single applications at 10 different dates and with two different concentrations of kaolin were conducted after harvest to assess the influence of the kaolin concentration on the autumn forms of D. plantaginea. No differences were found between the different concentrations and spraying dates. In a second open-field trial, single and multiple applications of kaolin were tested at different dates after harvest. Repeated applications of kaolin significantly reduced females in autumn and fundatrices in spring, whereas single kaolin treatments had no significant effect on D. plantaginea. None of the kaolin treatments reduced aphids below the economic threshold. In conclusion, kaolin showed promising results to control autumn forms of D. plantaginea. However, with a more detailed forecasting model for the autumnal flight of this aphid, treatments could be conducted more precisely and more effectively, especially in years with exceptional climatic conditions, such as in 2003.