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Effects of Mulching on the Spread of Aphid-Transmitted Watermelon Mosaic Virus to Summer Squash

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Alate aphid populations migrating into summer squash plantings between Feb. and May were reduced by 96 and 68% by aluminum and white plastic mulches, respectively. The green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer), was predominant and comprised 92% of the 16 aphid species trapped. Watermelon mosaic virus was the only cucurbit virus recovered, and symptoms appeared in the field 3 weeks after peak aphid flights in Mar. Virus incidence increased rapidly and reached 90% in untreated plots by May. Aluminum and white plastic mulches reduced virus incidence by 94 and 77%, respectively, at peak fruit harvest in Apr. Mineral oil sprays significantly reduced virus spread early in the growing season, and weekly application of methyl demeton did not affect virus incidence. Aluminum and white plastic mulches increased total fruit yield by 43%. Yield responses were particularly evident during early production with 85 and 69% increases resulting from the aluminum and white plastic mulches, respectively.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1979

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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