Using Pesticidesin Greenhouses
The focus of a pesticide application is to deliverthe pesticide to the target pest (i.e., insect, mite andpathogen). Most pesticides are sprayed onto plantfoliage; however, some pesticides are available ingranular formulations that can be incorporated into thegrowing medium or topdressed on the growing me-dium surface.
When a pesticide is sprayed, the material isdispersed into small droplets. The smaller the droplets,the greater the number of droplets per area of green-house, and the greater the likelihood of hitting thetarget pest (Table 1). Smaller droplets (10 to 50microns) are more likely to contact flying insects(note: one micron equals 0.000004 inch). Droplets thatare 30 to 50 microns are most likely to come intocontact with insects on foliage, while the larger drop-lets (250 to 500 microns) are most useful at contactinginsects in the growing medium. The type of sprayequipment used determines the droplet particle size.
Spray Application Equipment
Several different sprayers are commerciallyavailable to greenhouse operators. Each has its ownbenefits and limitations. There is no one best choice;however, certain sprayers may fit nicely into the pestmanagement programs of different greenhousefacilities.
Frank A. Hale, Associate Professor, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Agricultural Extension Service, University of Tennessee, Raymond A. Cloyd, Assistant Professor, Extension Entomologist, University of Illinois Edward E. Burgess, Professor, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Agricultural Extension Service, University of Tennessee
he objective of using pesticides in greenhouses is to reduce or manage pest populationswithout endangering the lives of greenhouse workers or customers, and without harmingplants. To achieve this goal, it is essential to maximize pesticide exposure to the targetedpests and minimize human pesticide exposure. The first part of this publication will address issuesrelated to pesticide applications, whereas the second part addresses human safety issues.
Table 1. Relationship between Particle Size andthe Number of Droplets per Square Inch
Droplet diameterDroplets per(microns)square inch10123,2192015,40050987100123200154001.910000.13
Direct Spray versusFixed-Position Sprayers
Direct sprayers are manually operated and can beaimed at targeted areas of the greenhouse, while fixed-position sprayers are placed into the greenhouse wherethey function without direct human supervision. Theadvantages and disadvantages of each type of applica-tion method are presented in Table 2.