Sustainable strategies for the improvement of seriously degraded agricultural areas: The example of Pistachia vera L

EC Environment - Life Programme

With the contribution of the LIFE + financial instrument of the European Union

Efficacy of kaolin particle film and selected synthetic insecticides against pistachio psyllid Agonoscena targionii (Homoptera: Psyllidae) infestation, Crop Protection 24 (2005) 711–717

ABSTRACT: Field experiments were conducted in 2002 and 2003 on pistachio (Pistacia vera L., Anacardiaceae) in northwest Syria to assess the effectiveness of kaolin-based particle film, teflubenzuron, alpha-cypermethrin, and thiacloprid against pistachio psyllid Agonoscena targionii (Lichtenstein). The effects of particle film and insecticides on early and mid-season infestations of immatures were evaluated. Significantly fewer adults and nymphs were found on particle-film-treated trees compared with the untreated control. However, teflubenzuron and thiacloprid applied at 30-day intervals provided adequate control of pistachio psyllid damage when they were sprayed early in the season. Application of particle film in mid-season, when pistachio psyllid pressure was high, effectively suppressed psyllid nymph damage while the teflubenzuron and alpha-cypermethrin insecticides decreased nymph density, but failed to maintain populations at low levels. No phytotoxic effects on pistachio due to particle film application were observed. In contrast, kaolin-sprayed trees, throughout the 2 years of the trials, were healthier and more vigorous than the insecticide and control treatments. These results provide comparative data on the effectiveness of kaolin particle film and support the potential of using this technology as an alternative pest management tool against pistachio psyllid.

George Saour
Department of Biotechnology, AEC of Syria
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