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Open AccessArticle

Experimental Nets for a Protection System against the Vectors of Xylella fastidiosa Wells et al.

1
Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment (DiSAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71100 Foggia, Italy
2
Sachim Srl, Via Mastricale 7, 70017 Putignano, Italy
3
Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, Via per Arnesano, 73100 Lecce, Italy
4
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science (DiSAAT), University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9020032
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 5 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management in Agricultural Systems)
The effectiveness of experimental nets in preventing the access of adult meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius L., the main vector of Xylella fastidiosa Wells et al. subspecies pauca, sequence type (ST) 53, in olive tree nurseries and orchards was evaluated. To optimize the net design, mesh size, kind of fabric, thread typology, and radiometric properties, six nets with different mesh sizes and kinds of fabric were evaluated in laboratory and in field experiments. Laboratory bioassays evaluating the capability of adult spittlebugs to pass through nets with different mesh sizes (1.2, 1.8, 2.4 mm) showed that all nets with a mesh size equal to or lower than 2.4 mm prevented insect crossing. These results were confirmed in field conditions using an experimental net box apparatus. Further laboratory tests showed a positive correlation between porosity and radiometric properties of the nets. Three prototypes of thermally stabilized flat woven nets made of circular cross-sectional yarns, knitted net with strips, and knitted nets made of yarns were tested after the evaluation of their potential usability in terms of porosity stability. The knitted net features were found to be the most suitable. The net transmissivity of the total and direct component of solar radiation in the photosynthetically active radiation and the infrared ranges increased with the net porosity. A prism-shaped wooden frame with a triangular base covered with the knitted net with a 2.4 mm mesh confirmed the insect’s capability of reaching considerable heights, up to 2.85 m. Hence, based on our results, the monowire knitted net with a 2.4 mm mesh can be used in open field nursery and olive orchards to prevent the access of P. spumarius adults and to shield the openings of greenhouse nurseries. View Full-Text
Keywords: insect-proof net; integrated pest management; nursery; olive tree insect-proof net; integrated pest management; nursery; olive tree
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Castellano, S.; Di Palma, A.; Germinara, G.S.; Lippolis, M.; Starace, G.; Scarascia-Mugnozza, G. Experimental Nets for a Protection System against the Vectors of Xylella fastidiosa Wells et al.. Agriculture 2019, 9, 32.

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