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Phytoparasitica

A. Arazi

Over the course of five growing seasons, trials were run to evaluate the efficacy of a tractorpropelled field-scale vacuum unit for use in insect pest management in potato, celery, and melon crops. The vacuum unit was designed to dislodge insects by blowing air from lateral vents onto the plants while simultaneously vacuuming from above. Typically, plots were vacuumed once a week throughout the growing season. Efficacy was evaluated by counting insects trapped on yellow sticky cards after 24 h in the field, and by hand vacuuming replicated 1-m-row sections of the plots before and after the field vacuuming. All insects evaluated were effectively removed by the vacuum unit; typically population reductions of 50-90% were achieved with whiteflies, leafhoppers and aphids. In some trials, reductions were achieved which lasted from week to week. Insects easily re-invaded small plots (10 x 15 m) because of the large edge effect. Agromyzid leafminers and leaffioppers were significantly reduced in number, but population reductions were temporary because of the insects' strong flying ability. When trials were moved to commercial or semi-commercial sized fields, significant population reductions were achieved that lasted from week to week and, in some cases, pest populations were lower in vacuum-treated than in insecticide-treated plots. There was no adverse effect on potato yield due to soil compression. There was a greater yield of melons from the vacuumed field than from either the insecticide-treated or control fields. While we do not envision this form of mechanical control ever to be the sole means of insect control in a field situation, we can foresee its use in insect pest management programs. By reducing insect populauons first by field vacuuming and then by immediate release of biological control agents, efficacy may be greatly improved. Field vacuuming is likewise fully compatible with chemical control measures, reducing pest populations either instead of a regular pesticide treatment or immediately before pesticide application. (L)

The 10th Conference of the Entomological Society of Israel

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Efficacy of a Tractor-Propelled Vacuum Machine for Insect Management in Potato, Celery and Melon Crops [abstract]
25 (2)

A. Arazi

Efficacy of a Tractor-Propelled Vacuum Machine for Insect Management in Potato, Celery and Melon Crops

Over the course of five growing seasons, trials were run to evaluate the efficacy of a tractorpropelled field-scale vacuum unit for use in insect pest management in potato, celery, and melon crops. The vacuum unit was designed to dislodge insects by blowing air from lateral vents onto the plants while simultaneously vacuuming from above. Typically, plots were vacuumed once a week throughout the growing season. Efficacy was evaluated by counting insects trapped on yellow sticky cards after 24 h in the field, and by hand vacuuming replicated 1-m-row sections of the plots before and after the field vacuuming. All insects evaluated were effectively removed by the vacuum unit; typically population reductions of 50-90% were achieved with whiteflies, leafhoppers and aphids. In some trials, reductions were achieved which lasted from week to week. Insects easily re-invaded small plots (10 x 15 m) because of the large edge effect. Agromyzid leafminers and leaffioppers were significantly reduced in number, but population reductions were temporary because of the insects' strong flying ability. When trials were moved to commercial or semi-commercial sized fields, significant population reductions were achieved that lasted from week to week and, in some cases, pest populations were lower in vacuum-treated than in insecticide-treated plots. There was no adverse effect on potato yield due to soil compression. There was a greater yield of melons from the vacuumed field than from either the insecticide-treated or control fields. While we do not envision this form of mechanical control ever to be the sole means of insect control in a field situation, we can foresee its use in insect pest management programs. By reducing insect populauons first by field vacuuming and then by immediate release of biological control agents, efficacy may be greatly improved. Field vacuuming is likewise fully compatible with chemical control measures, reducing pest populations either instead of a regular pesticide treatment or immediately before pesticide application. (L)

The 10th Conference of the Entomological Society of Israel

Scientific Publication
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