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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of Silica-Coated Insect Proof Nets for the Control of Aphis fabae, Sitophilus oryzae, and Tribolium confusum

1
Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Phytokou str., 38446 Volos, Magnesia, Greece
2
Laboratory of Agricultural Constructions and Environmental Control, Department of Agriculture Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Phytokou Street, 38446 Volos Magnesia, Greece
3
Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University, Otto-Blumenthal-St. 1, 52074 Aachen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(9), 1658; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10091658
Received: 13 July 2020 / Revised: 14 August 2020 / Accepted: 18 August 2020 / Published: 24 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Synthesis of Nanomaterials and Their Biological Applications)
Insect proof nets are widely used in agriculture as mechanical and physical barriers to regulate pest populations in a greenhouse. However, their integration in the greenhouse ventilation openings is highly associated with the decrease of air flow and the adequate ventilation. Thus, there is need for alternative pest management tools that do not impair adequate ventilation. In the present study, we tested four net formulations of relatively large mesh size coated with SiO2 nanoparticles, namely, ED3, ED3-P, ED5, and ED5-P to evaluate their insecticidal properties against adults of Aphis fabae and Sitophilus oryzae and larvae of Tribolium confusum. ED3 and ED5 nets were coated with SiO2 nanoparticles of different diameter, while in the case of ED3-P and ED5-P, paraffin was added to increase the mass of the deposited particles on the net’s surface. In the first series of bioassays, the knockdown and mortality rates of these species were evaluated after exposure to the aforementioned net formulations for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 60, 90, and 180 min. In the second series of bioassays, knockdown and mortality of these species were recorded after 1, 7, and 10 days of post-exposure to the nets for different time intervals (15, 30, and 60 min). Based on our results, all nets significantly affected A. fabae, since all insects were dead at the 1-day post-exposure period to the silica-treated nets. Conversely, at the same interval, no effect on either S. oryzae adults or T. confusum larvae was observed. However, in the case of S. oryzae, the efficacy of all nets reached 100% 7 days after the exposure, even for adults that had been initially exposed for 15 min to the treated nets. Among the species tested, T. confusum larvae exhibited the lowest mortality rate, which did not exceed 34% at the 10 days of post-exposure interval. Our work underlines the efficacy of treated nets in pest management programs, under different application scenarios, at the pre- and post-harvest stages of agricultural commodities. View Full-Text
Keywords: net formulations; stored product insects; knockdown; mortality; long-term effect net formulations; stored product insects; knockdown; mortality; long-term effect
MDPI and ACS Style

Agrafioti, P.; Faliagka, S.; Lampiri, E.; Orth, M.; Pätzel, M.; Katsoulas, N.; Athanassiou, C.G. Evaluation of Silica-Coated Insect Proof Nets for the Control of Aphis fabae, Sitophilus oryzae, and Tribolium confusum. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 1658.

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