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22 April 2023 Integrated approach using insecticides in combination with reflective plastic mulch for the management of pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Victoria O. Adeleye, Dakshina R. Seal, Oscar O.E. Liburd, Xavier Martini, Geoffrey Meru
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Abstract

Pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii Cano, is a serious pest of peppers (Capsicum annuum) in the United States and worldwide. This study evaluated the combined effect of insecticides (thiamethoxam and oxamyl) and reflective mulches (reflective silver on white and reflective silver on black) on pepper weevil suppression and yield increase. This study was conducted under field conditions in Homestead, FL, during the fall 2020, spring 2021, and 2022 growing seasons. The study consists of 2 mulch treatments as the main plots (reflective “silver on white,” “white on black”) and a bare ground with “no mulch” treatment in fall 2020 and spring 2021, and in spring 2022 with an additional treatment of reflective “silver on black” mulch. We hypothesized that jalapeño pepper grown on either reflective “silver on black” or “silver on white” plastic mulches would have fewer pepper weevil adults, fewer pepper weevil infested fruits, and higher yield than those grown on “white on black” plastic mulch or bare soil. Overall, the number of pepper weevil adults on plants and infested fruits was lower in the fall season compared to the spring season. In the fall 2020 season, the number of adults was not significantly different regardless of insecticide treatment and mulch type. However, infested fruits were higher on the untreated control plots than the treated plots in Fall 2020. Marketable yield was not significantly different among insecticide treatment on the “white on black” and reflective “silver on white” mulches. However, thiamethoxam treated plots had significantly higher yield than on the rest of the treatment on the bare soil with “no mulch.” The number of adults was higher in the untreated control plot than the treated plots in spring 2021. The number of infested fallen fruits was not significantly different. However, marketable yield was significantly different among treatments on the “white on black” and reflective “silver on white” mulches in 2021. The treated plots on the reflective “silver on white” mulch produced significantly higher yield than the untreated control plots in 2022. The result of this study suggests that growing jalapeño peppers on reflective plastic mulch (“silver on white”) in integration with thiamethoxam or oxamyl has the potential in reducing pepper weevil adult population and increasing yield of jalapeño pepper.

Victoria O. Adeleye, Dakshina R. Seal, Oscar O.E. Liburd, Xavier Martini, and Geoffrey Meru "Integrated approach using insecticides in combination with reflective plastic mulch for the management of pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)," Environmental Entomology 52(3), 391-398, (22 April 2023). https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvad033
Received: 12 October 2022; Accepted: 14 April 2023; Published: 22 April 2023
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KEYWORDS
integrated pest management
jalapeño
pepper weevil
reflective plastic mulch
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