Influence of Crop Mulches and Row Covers on the Population Dynamics of the Squash Bug (Heteroptera: Coreidae) on Summer Squash

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Abstract:

The occurrence of squash bug, Anasa tristis (DeGeer) on yellow summer squash grown under different cultural systems was studied in one experiment in 1987 and two experiments in 1988. The influence of row covers-black plastic and aluminized mulch-on the occurrence of squash bug was evaluated. Mulch production systems (black plastic or reflective) harbored more squash bugs than bare ground in 1987 studies. No differences in the density of squash bug were detected in plots with aluminum mulch (paper-backed) compared with either white plastic or aluminized black plastic. Early in both 1988 studies, significantly more squash bugs were observed in plots with aluminum mulch compared with those with black plastic. As plant development progressed, differences in squash bug numbers between the two mulch types decreased. However, squash grown in mulched plots, regardless of the type of mulch used, had consistently larger squash bug populations than those grown in bare ground. Row covers delayed squash bug colonization but when the covers were removed to allow plant pollination, squash bug colonized quickly. Mulch covers, regardless of type, provide a harborage for squash bug adults and nymphs. Greater numbers of squash bugs in mulched culture systems may result in increases in squash bug control costs, which could offset any production benefit gained by mulch systems.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1990

More about this publication?
  • 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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