Kaolin particle films suppress many apple pests, disrupt natural enemies and promote woolly apple aphid.
Multiple applications of hydrophobic kaolin particle film in apple orchards suppressed numbers of blossom weevil (Anthonomus pomorum), brown leaf weevil (Phyllobius oblongus), attelabid weevil (Caenorhinus pauxillus), leafhoppers (Empoasca vitis and Zygina flammigera) and green apple aphid (Aphis pomi) colonies. The kaolin treatments reduced the apple sawfly (Hoplocampa testudinea) fruit infestation on cultivar J. Grieve, and the fruit damage caused by oyster scale (Quadraspidiotus ostreaeformis), mussel scale (Lepidosaphes ulmi), early caterpillars, leaf rolling moths (Tortricidae), fruitlet-mining tortrix moth (Pammene rhediella) and codling moth (Cydia pomonella). There was no effect on the number of colonies of rosy leaf curling aphid (Dysaphis devecta), nor on the fruit damage caused by common earwig (Forficula auricularia) and apple sawfly on cv. G. Delicious. The level of infestation of rosy apple aphid (Dysaphis plantaginea), leaf miner moths (Phyllonorycter blancardella, Lyonetia clerkella), and agromyzid flies (Phytomyza heringiana) increased in the kaolin-treated plots. Kaolin treatments promoted woolly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum) infestation, which became severe, while it reduced the abundance of polyphagous predators like F. auricularia, predaceous Heteroptera and Coleoptera, the red velvet mite (Allothrombium fuliginosum), spiders (Araneae) and the abundance of common black ant (Lasius niger). The treatments also reduced parasitism of the apple sawfly by the ichneumonid Lathrolestes ensator. Many weeks after ending the kaolin treatments, the number of predaceous Coleoptera and especially the number of spiders remained low in the kaolin-treated plots.