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Integrated control of Lecanium scale (Parthenolecanium sp.) on highbush blueberry in open field and protected crops

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The increased cultivation of highbush blueberry in Poland has been paralleled with enhanced damage to this crop by different pests and diseases, including soft scales. We have carried out trials to assess methods for controlling soft scales of the genus Parthenolecanium in highbush blueberry grown in open fields or under a plastic tunnel, with an approach based on integrated pest management (IPM) principles. The reduction of Lecanium scale population using alternative products, with mechanical mechanisms of action, was similar to that achieved with treatments of different formulations of neonicotinyl-based pesticides; sometimes they were even more effective on protected crops. Control programs on plantations with a large population of Lecanium scales based on the application of these alternative products in spring and at harvest time and chemical compounds in autumn resulted in a very high efficacy and are considered the most suitable strategies to assure yields without residues and a reduced impact on the environment.
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Journal of Plant Protection Research ISSN 1427-4345
Integrated control of Lecanium scale (Parthenolecanium sp.)
on highbush blueberry in open eld and protected crops
Małgorzata Tartanus1*, Eligio Malusa1, Daniel Sas2, Barbara Łabanowska1
1 Department of Plant Protection against Pests, Research Institute of Horticulture, ul. Konstytucji 3 Maja 1/3, 96−100 Skierniewice,
Poland
2 Department of Informatics, Research Institute of Horticulture, ul. Konstytucji 3 Maja 1/3, 96−100 Skierniewice, Poland
Abstract
e increased cultivation of highbush blueberry in Poland has been paralleled with en-
hanced damage to this crop by dierent pests and diseases, including so scales. We have
carried out trials to assess methods for controlling so scales of the genus Parthenoleca-
nium in highbush blueberry grown in open elds or under a plastic tunnel, with an ap-
proach based on integrated pest management (IPM) principles. e reduction of Lecanium
scale population using alternative products, with mechanical mechanisms of action, was
similar to that achieved with treatments of dierent formulations of neonicotinyl-based
pesticides; sometimes they were even more eective on protected crops. Control programs
on plantations with a large population of Lecanium scales based on the application of these
alternative products in spring and at harvest time and chemical compounds in autumn re-
sulted in a very high ecacy and are considered the most suitable strategies to assure yields
without residues and a reduced impact on the environment.
Keywords: integrated pest control, mechanical action, Parthenolecanium spp.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Vol. 58, No. 3: 297–303, 2018
DOI: 10.24425/jppr.2018.124638
Received: March 15, 2018
Accepted: September 17, 2018
*Corresponding address:
malgorzata.tartanus@inhort.pl
Introduction
Species of the genus Parthenolecanium belonging to
the family Coccidae can feed on many crops and are
among the most serious pest species around the world
(García Morales et al. 2016). Several species are pres-
ent, at varying degrees, in Poland (Łagowska et al.
2015), but the most widespread and present on several
fruit plants is P. corni (Bouché) (Łabanowska and Ga-
jek 2013). Besides direct damage to the plants, the pro-
duction of honeydew by these species, which supports
the growth of several saprophytic fungi (e.g. Capno-
dium spp.), reduces the commercial value of fruits. e
control of such pests has been traditionally based on
chemical treatments (Wardlow and Ludlam 1975; Hahn
et al. 2011). However, the recent discovery of parasi-
toids in dierent crops and countries has opened new
avenues for biological control methods (Arnaoudov et
al. 2006; Bolu and Hayat 2008; Rakimov et al. 2015).
e diculties in rearing parasitoids and applying
them in open elds, together with the need of reduc-
ing the use of synthetic pesticides, have prompted the
search for alternative products characterized by lower
toxicity for humans and the environment. Among the
possible alternatives, essential and paranic oils as
well as other natural substances (i.e. chitosan) or mod-
ied mineral substances (e.g. silicon) have been found
to have insecticidal properties through mechanical ac-
tion, with limited impact on the environment (Rabea
et al. 2005; Badawy and El-Aswad 2012; Sarwar and
Salman 2015).
e increased cultivation of highbush blueberry in
Poland in recent years (Smolarz and Pluta 2012) has
been paralleled with enhanced damage to this crop
by dierent pests and diseases, including Lecanium
scales. e aim of this paper is to present the results of
Journal of Plant Protection Research 58 (3), 2018
298
an integrated approach in controlling the population
of Parthenolecanium sp. on highbush blueberry us-
ing products containing compounds characterized by
mechanical action, alone or in combination with some
synthetic chemical products.
Materials and Methods
e trials were conducted in 2013 and 2015 on high-
bush blueberry plantations cv. Bluecrop in four loca-
tions of the Mazowiecki Voivodship (central Poland).
Control treatments were carried out during three dif-
ferent periods of the growing season: a) spring, when
overwintering larvae begin feeding, b) summer, aer
the hatching of new larvae from eggs, b) autumn
just before larvae enter the overwintering stage (see
Results). e experimental design was with four rep-
lications arranged in randomized blocks. Each plot
(replication) covered 52.55 m2 (3 rows 15 m long each,
with a total of 45 plants). Tested and reference prod-
ucts having dierent mechanisms of action (Table 1)
were applied with a motorized knapsack sprayer “Stihl
SR 420“, with a spray volume of 750 l · ha−1.
e Lecanium scale population density was esti-
mated just before the treatment and approximately
2−3 weeks aer spraying. e number of live Leca-
nium scale larvae was counted under a stereoscopic
microscope, on either 10 leaves or three stems taken
randomly from each plot/replication on each counting
date. e results were statistically analyzed by ANOVA
performed on values transformed by log(x+1). e sig-
nicance of dierences between means was assessed
using Tukey multiple range test at p ≤ 0.05 with Statis-
tica v.6.1. e value of actual mortality was calculated
according to Abbott’s formula.
Results
In 2013, all the products used reduced the average
number of live larvae per leaf, irrespective of loca-
tion and time of treatment (Table 2). Aer the sum-
mer treatment, the highest ecacy was noted with
tiachlopryd, but also eective (70−85% average level
of control) were the highest doses of cameline oil and
of the product based on silicon polymers. e product
based on polysaccharides showed the lowest ecacy.
In autumn, the two elds tested showed a very dier-
ent initial larval density per leaf, with the bushes in the
Machnatka eld having about a four-fold higher num-
ber of larvae than in the Piskórka location (Table 2).
is condition aected the ecacy of all products on
highly colonized shrubs (ecacy always <60%, lim-
ited control). However, on both plantations the eec-
tiveness of products with mechanical action showed
a higher ecacy (about two-fold) than the synthetic
ones.
In 2015, the initial (springtime) average num-
ber of larvae on shoots in open or protected planta-
tions was similar for the Piskórka locations (59.3 and
56.0 larvae/shoot in eld and tunnel, respectively),
while in the Prażmów eld it was 79.0 larvae/shoot.
is pattern was maintained in the control plants af-
ter the treatments (Table 3). In all elds, the products
with mechanical action performed similarly, or even
Table 1. Active substances and relative product used for the trials and their main features
Active
ingredient (a.i.)
Product
[content of a.i.]
Classication according to IRAC
Mechanism of Action (MoA)
Activity
on the pest
Natural
polysaccharides Ak unclassied mechanical blocking the action
of pest, suocation
Silicon polymers Siltac EC unclassied mechanical action on pest,
suocation
Camelina oil Emulpar 940 EC unclassied mechanical action on pest,
suocation
Paran oil Treol 770 EC
(770 g) unclassied mechanical action on pest,
suocation
Tiachlopryd Calypso 480 SC (480 g)
nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)
competitive modulators
(A − Neonicotinoids)
contact and stomach poisoning
Acetamipryd Mospilan 20 SP (20%)
Stonkat 20 SP (20%)
nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)
competitive modulators
(A − Neonicotinoids)
contact and stomach poisoning
Spirotetramat Movento 100 SC
(100 g)
inhibitors of acetyl CoA carboxylase
(tetronic and tetramic acid derivatives) inhibition of lipid biosynthesis
IRAC – Insecticide Resistance Action Committee
Małgorzata Tartanus et al.: Integrated control of Lecanium scale (Parthenolecanium sp.) on highbush blueberry299
better, than the chemical products (50−90% ecacy,
from limited to good control) with the exception of the
cameline oil applied under plastic tunnel conditions at
a reduced dose. is product was in general the least
eective among those having mechanical action. On
the other hand, the products based on polysaccharides
and silicon polymers were more eective when used
on plants grown under protected conditions (plastic
tunnel) than on open eld grown plants (ecacy in-
creased more than 10%). e growing method also af-
fected the two products based on the same synthetic
active substance, with both of them showing a lower
ecacy on plants growing in open elds than those
grown under a plastic tunnel (Table 3).
e eect of an autumn treatment with the alter-
native compounds was assessed in two trials having
a quite dierent initial number of larvae per leaf: it
ranged from 63.5 to 128.0 in Rokotów and from 12.4
to 94.5 in Prażmów (Table 4). In both locations, the
product based on polysaccharides was the most eec-
tive (>80% ecacy, good control). e other products
were eective only in the eld characterized by a low
initial infestation (Rokotów).
e ecacy of Lecanium scale larvae control with
a complex program consisting of three to four treat-
ments during the season, was assessed in three trials:
one of them was on a protected crop, combining prod-
ucts with mechanical action and chemical products.
At the beginning of the season (before starting the
treatment applications) the average population size of
scales in all three trials ranged from 16.7 to 23.7 lar-
vae per leaf (Table 5). It increased in control plots dur-
ing the growing season when observations were made
(Table 5). e dierent control programs tested resulted
in a nal ecacy ranging from about 20% up to about
95%. e association of one summer treatment with
Table 2. Average number of larvae per leaf and ecacy of scale control on highbush blueberry after treatments in two dierent
growing periods, on two plantations, 2013
Treatment Concentration
or dose
Average number
of alive larvae/leaf
Ecacy according to Abbott’s formula
[%]
Machnatka
(summer#)
Machnatka
(autumn)
Piskórka
(autumn)
Machnatka
(summer)
Machnatka
(autumn)
Piskórka
(autumn)
Control 37.6 d* 207.7 c 50.0 c
Polysaccharides 0.3% 18.7 cd 50.3
Silicon polymers 0.1% 10.9 bc 86.2 ab 7.2 a 71.0 58.5 85.6
Silicon polymers 0.2% 6.8 b 82.0 ab 6.0 a 81.9 60.5 88.0
Camelina oil 0.9% 10.3 bc 78.0 a 35.7 bc 72.6 62.4 28.6
Camelina oil 1.2% 5.8 b 159.2 abc 15.0 abc 84.6 23.4 70.0
Tiachlopryd 0.2 l ha–1 1.8 a 171.5 bc 13.5 ab 95.2 17.4 73.0
*means followed by the same letter (in columns) do not dier signicantly according to Tukey multiple range test (p ≤ 0.05)
#treatment dates: summer (July), autumn (September)
Table 3. Average number of larvae per shoot and ecacy of scale control on highbush blueberry grown in open eld or under tunnel;
treatments performed in spring (April), 2015
Treatment Concentration
or dose
Average number
of alive larvae/shoot
Ecacy according to Abbott’s formula
[%]
Piskórka
(eld)
Piskórka
(tunnel)
Prażmów
(eld)
Piskórka
(eld)
Piskórka
(tunnel)
Prażmów
(eld)
Control 109.4 c* 104.2 d 341.4 d
Polysaccharides 0.3% 31.4 bc 13.7 ab 72.7 c 71.3 86.9 78.7
Silicon polymers 0.2% 15.8 b 9.0 ab 23.1 ab 85.6 91.4 93.2
Camelina oil 0.9% 41.7 bc 83.4 cd 54.3 bc 61.9 20.0 84.1
Camelina oil 1.2% 43.3 bc 30.5 bc 8.3 a 60.4 70.7 97.6
Paran oil 1.5% 2.7 a 10.9 ab 81.5 c 97.5 89.5 76.1
Acetamipryd 0.2 kg ha–1 57.2 bc 8.3 a 99.7 c 47.7 92.0 70.8
*means followed by the same letter (in columns) do not dier signicantly according to Tukey multiple range test (p ≤ 0.05)
Journal of Plant Protection Research 58 (3), 2018300
acetamipryd and two treatments, one in spring and
one in autumn, of the alternative products was eec-
tive particularly when using camelina oil at the highest
dose (about 90% ecacy, good control). e programs
combining only compounds having mechanical action
gave from about 40% to about 70% ecacy. e pro-
gram using only the product based on silicon polymers
was the most eective. Combining three applications
of alternative products and one with spirotetramat in
autumn resulted in an ecacy from about 80% up to
almost 95% on crops grown under tunnel (Table 5).
Discussion
e results obtained from applying dierent products
based on alternative active substances controlling Leca-
nium scales mainly through mechanical action suggest
that these products can be useful to control or limit
the population of so scales on highbush blueberry
plants. However, the ecacy of the dierent products
diered depending mainly on the period of applica-
tion. e product based on silicon polymers and that
based on camelina oil were more eective when ap-
plied during spring and summer than in autumn. e
initial number of Lecanium scale larvae also aected
the overall ecacy of the treatments, but this was not
critical when a complex program of treatments based
mainly on the alternative compounds was designed to
cover the whole growing season.
e silicon-based product is a combination of
silicone polymeric compounds which, when applied
to plants, quickly spreads on the treated surface cre-
ating a three-dimensional polymeric grid structure
with sticky properties blocking the insect’s physical
functions (Somasundaran et al. 2006). Its ecacy can
thus be dependent on the application method and on
the environmental conditions, as was also seen in our
trials. e compound has no similarities with other
available substances for plant protection. Further stud-
ies are planned to better understand the compound ac-
tivity on plants and plant pests at a microscopic level.
e oil extracted from camelina (Camelina sativa
(L.) Crantz) is normally characterized by a high con-
tent of alpha-linolenic acid and saturated fatty acids,
with omega3 R-linolenic acid [C(18 : 3 n3)] being the
most abundant (about 30−40%) (Hrastar et al. 2009).
e unsaturated fractions of vegetal oils are chemi-
cally reactive and, similar to petroleum-based oils,
can cause lesions on the leaf surface with variations in
damage intensity depending on dosage and environ-
mental conditions (Regnault-Roger 1997). However,
we did not observe any phytotoxic eects on the plants
treated with this product, either in the open eld or
under protected conditions (data not shown). Even
though essential oils can have toxic actions, they cause
insects to die from asphyxiation (Sarwar and Salman
2015). erefore, this kind of products is unlikely to
induce resistance in insect populations (Bakkali et al.
2008). Products based on paranic oils, such as that
used in our trials, e.g. vegetable oils, are characterized
by the prevention of gaseous exchange and toxic inter-
ference with cell membrane functions (Agnello 2002).
eir use in the program for Lecanium scale control
on highbush blueberry can thus be alternated with
vegetable oils, to reduce the overall environmental im-
pact, and as shown in our trials, to improve the overall
ecacy of the control strategy.
e preparation based on polysaccharides showed
a satisfactory level of ecacy irrespective of the period
of application. A component of the product is chitosan,
a compound that has been found to possess insecticidal
activity on Hemiptera pests (Rabea et al. 2005; Badawy
and El-Aswad 2012). Chitosans are also known for their
eects on plant nutrition and plant growth stimulation,
as well as the induction of plant defence mechanisms
against pathogens (Sharp 2013). ese properties were
Table 4. Average number of larvae per leaf and ecacy of control on highbush blueberry grown under open eld conditions;
treatments performed in autumn (September), 2015
Treatment Concentration
[%]
Average number
of alive larvae/leaf
Ecacy according to Abbott’s formula
[%]
Rokotów
(eld)
Prażmów
(eld)
Rokotów
(eld)
Prażmów
(eld)
Control 5.1 c* 27.6 b
Polysaccharides 0.3 0.8 a 2.9 a 84.3 89.5
Silicon polymers 0.2 1.5 ab 26.2 b 70.6 5.1
Camelina oil 0.9 2.0 b 15.1 b 60.8 45.3
Camelina oil 1.2 16.4 b 40.6
*means followed by the same letter (in columns) do not dier signicantly according to Tukey multiple range test (p ≤ 0.05)
Małgorzata Tartanus et al.: Integrated control of Lecanium scale (Parthenolecanium sp.) on highbush blueberry301
Table 5. Average number of larvae per leaf at the end of the growing season and overall ecacy of scale control on highbush
blueberry grown in open eld or under protected conditions with dierent control programs, 2015
Control Programs Concentration
or dose
Application
period#
Average number
of alive larvae/leaf
Ecacy according
to Abbott’s formula [%]
Prażmów (eld)
Before the rst treatment 23.7
Control 27.6 c*
Polysaccharides
Acetamipryd
Polisaccharides
0.3%
0.2 kg ha–1
0.3%
spring
summer
autumn
21.9 c 20.8
Silicon polymers
Acetamipryd
Silicon polymers
0.2%
0.2 kg ha–1
0.2%
spring
summer
autumn
14.2 bc 48.5
Camelina oil
Acetamipryd
Camelina oil
0.9%
0.2 kg ha–1
0.9%
spring
summer
autumn
8.8 b 68.3
Camelina oil
Acetamipryd
Camelina oil
1.2%
0.2 kg ha–1
1.2%
spring
summer
autumn
3.0 a 89.2
Piskórka (eld)
Before the rst treatment 17.7
Control 65.4 b
Polysaccharides
Silicon polymers
Polysaccharides
0.3%
0.2%
0.3%
spring
summer
autumn
41.2 ab 37.0
Silicon polymers
Silicon polymers
Silicon polymers
0.2%
0.2%
0.2%
spring
summer
autumn
18.8 a 71.3
Camelina oil
Silicon polymers
Camelina oil
0.9%
0.2%
0.9%
spring
summer
autumn
28.6 a 54.7
Camelina oil
Silicon polymers
Camelina oil
1.2%
0.2%
1.2%
spring
summer
autumn
32.0 ab 51.0
Piskórka (tunnel)
Before the rst treatment 16.7
Control 57.3 c
Polysaccharides
Silicon polymers
Polysaccharides
Spirotetramat
0.3%
0.2%
0.3%
0.75 l ha–1
spring
summer
summer
autumn
6.5 ab 88.7
Silicon polymers
Silicon polymers
Silicon polymers
Spirotetramat
0.2%
0.2%
0.2%
0.75 l ha–1
spring
summer
summer
autumn
3.2 a 94.4
Camelina oil
Silicon polymers
Camelina oil
Spirotetramat
0.9%
0.2%
0.9%
0.75 l ha–1
spring
summer
summer
autumn
12.1 b 78.9
Camelina oil
Silicon polymers
Camelina oil
Spirotetramat
1.2%
0.2%
1.2%
0.75 l ha–1
spring
summer
summer
autumn
7.6 ab 86.7
Paran oil
Silicon polymers
Camelina oil
Spirotetramat
1.5%
0.2%
1.2%
0.75 l ha–1
spring
summer
summer
autumn
4.8 a 91.6
*means followed by the same letter (in columns) within a single trial do not dier signicantly according to Tukey multiple range test (p ≤ 0.05)
#treatment dates: spring (April), summer (July), autumn (September)
Journal of Plant Protection Research 58 (3), 2018
302
not assessed in the present study, but if present could
support a multifunctional use for the product in view of
an integrated crop management system.
e application of products based on active sub-
stances of the neonicotinyl group was used as a stan-
dard method of control, particularly of young larvae.
e results obtained with spirotetramat, an inhibitor
of acetyl CoA carboxylase, conrmed the possibility
of using this product against Lecanium scales. It had
an ecacy similar to that of pests of dierent orders
(Łabanowska et al. 2013, 2015; Tartanus et al. 2015).
With the alternative products a level of control was
obtained that was in several trials comparable to that
resulting from application of the chemical synthetic
compounds, even with a quite high level of initial scale
infestation, as in the case of the silicon polymers-based
product. ese products, when singly applied, were
found to be more eective on protected crops than
in the open eld. On the other hand, the addition of
the neonicotinyl products to the control program in-
creased the overall ecacy of the treatments. e ef-
fectiveness of the tested substances was in line with
similar trials performed to assess their eect on other
pests of small fruits (Łabanowska et al. 2014; Tartanus
et al. 2015).
A competitive advantage of applying the alternative
products in summer (aer the hatching of young larvae)
derives from the lack of residues on fruits and thus of
a withdrawal period, which is key for a crop having
a long harvesting period such as highbush blueberry.
However, it should be mentioned that the product based
on polysaccharides used prior to harvest (in summer)
was reported to alter the taste of the fruits and, if applied
at concentrations higher than those recommended and
used in this study, appeared to induce some phytotoxic
responses (Łabanowska unpublished data).
e integrated approach developed with the tested
control programs, i.e. combining the application of al-
ternative compounds during the period of growth and
harvest with that of chemical compounds at the end of
the season, is also expected to reduce the risk of induc-
tion of resistance toward the neonicotinyl pesticides in
the pest population and to limit the possible damage
to pollinators.
Conclusions
Control programs on plantations with large Lecanium
scale populations based on the application of alterna-
tive products, having mechanical control, in spring and
at harvest combined with the application of chemical
compounds in autumn resulted in a very high ecacy.
is strategy is considered to be the most suitable to
control Lecanium scales in highbush blueberry crops,
assuring harvested fruits without residues and a re-
duced impact on the environment.
Acknowledgements
e authors would like to thank Mrs. Bożena Pawlik
and Mr. Tadeusz Mańkowski for technical help in the
experiments.
M.T. – developed the concept and designed the ex-
periment; M.T., E.M. and B.Ł. – collected and analyzed
the data. ey equally contributed to manuscript writ-
ing; D.S. – performed data statistical analysis.
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