Evaluation of Various Color Hydromulches and Weed Fabric on Broccoli Insect Populations

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We evaluated the potential for variously colored hydromulches (sprayed-on wood fibers plus adhesive) and weed fabric to suppress populations of the cabbage maggot, Delia radicum (L.), cabbage aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae (L.), and other insects in broccoli, Brassica oleracea L. Weed control also was evaluated. Commercial hydromulches were evaluated in their standard formulations or modified by adding corn starch, plaster of paris, lamp black, and latex blue or yellow paint. D. radicum populations were significantly lower in plots treated with hydromulch and blue paint than in unmulched control plots. This treatment was equal to or better than diazinon in suppressing D. radicum. B. brassicae populations were significantly higher in plots treated with hydromulch and yellow paint than in unmulched control plots. Weed fabric significantly reduced weed populations, but the levels of flea beetle Phyllotreta cruciferae (Goeze) in those plots were 6 times higher than in control plots. Early-season populations of D. radicum and B. brassicae could be suppressed simultaneously if the appropriate combinations of hydromulch and color were used.

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Journal of Economic Entomology