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Keywords:

  • integrated pest management;
  • organic pear production;
  • particle film technology;
  • pest control;
  • rotenone;
  • Surround® WP

Abstract:  Application of processed kaolin particle film (Surround® WP; Engelhard Corporation, Iselin, NJ, USA) repels insects without lethal effects; hence side effects on beneficial arthropods are low. Processed kaolin may be an alternative to broad-spectrum insecticides used against European pear sucker, Cacopsylla pyri (L.), in organic and conventional pear production. A small-plot field trial was conducted in spring 2003 to assess this hypothesis. Multiple applications of processed kaolin during the first flying period of C. pyri significantly reduced the number of nymphs compared to the untreated control. Processed kaolin protected pear trees at least as good as the standard organic insecticide rotenone. Since the effects on the summer population could not be assessed in this small-plot trial due to the high mobility of the adult C. pyri, a large-plot trial was conducted in 2004. Thereby, the processed kaolin showed a very high efficacy and the population of C. pyri was kept under a damaging level over the whole season. At the end of June the population density of C. pyri in the processed kaolin treated area was lower than in the IPM treated plot. In conclusion, kaolin shows promise as an alternative control for C. pyri in organic and IPM orchards.