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Pest Manag Sci. 2020 Jan;76(1):179-187. doi: 10.1002/ps.5491. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Photoselective exclusion netting in apple orchards: effectiveness against pests and impact on beneficial arthropods, fungal diseases and fruit quality.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentari (DISAFA), University of Torino, Grugliasco, Italy.
AGROINNOVA-Centre of Competence for the Innovation in the Agro-environmental Sector, University of Torino, Grugliasco, Italy.



Frequent pesticide treatments in fruit orchards increase hazards for workers, consumers and the environment. Moreover, the indiscriminate and excessive use of pesticides often induces resistance in pests. In the past few years, physical exclusion strategies have been proposed as an alternative for the control of insect pests. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-hail photoselective netting in protecting apples against key and emerging pests, as well as the impact on beneficial arthropods, fungal diseases and fruit quality.


In netted plots, a significant reduction in pest populations, i.e. fruit moths, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) and Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), was recorded in comparison with un-netted controls. Moreover, the damage on fruits caused by H. halys was reduced up to 62% compared with insecticidal treatments. The net did not negatively affect the abundance of predators and the incidence of post-harvest rot. In addition, the incidence of bitter pit on apple was reduced up to 52%. Furthermore, fruit quality was unaffected by the net coverage (both at harvest and after 4 months of storage).


Anti-hail photoselective pearl netting proved a promising exclusion system that can prevent attack by more than one insect pest at a time, allowing for a strong reduction in insecticide treatments and relative costs. At the same time, the netting did not negatively influence the presence of predators, the incidence of fungal disease or fruit quality. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry.


Halyomorpha halys; bitter pit; fruit damage; fruit moths; predators


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