Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 77, Issue 4, pp 571–582 | Cite as

Aerial application methods control spider mites on corn in Kansas, USA

  • Daniel E. MartinEmail author
  • Mohamed A. Latheef


The Banks grass mite, Oligonychus pratensis (Banks), and two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, are important chelicerae herbivores on irrigated corn in Kansas, USA. They cause loss of foliage, stalk breakage, kernel shrinkage and yield loss. Aerial application methods were evaluated to control spider mites in a commercial corn field in August, 2017, near Hoxie, Kansas. Dimethoate (0.56 kg active ingredient/ha) and Lorsban Advanced (1.05 kg active ingredient/ha) mixed with a nonionic surfactant, Traverse (0.25% v/v), were aerially applied using conventional flat-fan hydraulic nozzles at 28.1 L/ha and aerial electrostatic nozzles at 9.3 L/ha. To assess spray droplet spectra of the aerial application methods, water sensitive paper samplers were deployed at the whorl of husk leaves at the tip of the ear before aerial spray treatments were applied. Spray droplet spectra were quantified using commercial image analysis software. Treatment efficacy was assessed both objectively and subjectively. Objective efficacy evaluation incorporated the use of an active multispectral optical sensor via spectral analysis of the midrib regions of corn leaves on the abaxial surface where spider mites reside. Subjective damage ratings based upon in-field spider mite movement observations were scored by professional crop scouting consultants. Results of objective spectral analysis and subjective damage ratings indicated that both the conventional and electrostatic nozzles with 283 and 210-µm spray droplet ‘volume median diameter’ (VMD) at 28.1 and 9.3 L/ha, respectively, controlled spider mites compared to an untreated check.


Aerial sprays Electrostatics Corn Maize Proximal sensing Efficacy 



We appreciate the assistance of Tate Mauck of Hoxie Flying Service for making the aerial applications and Steve Launchbaugh for permission to use his corn field for conducting this study.


Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aerial Application Technology Research UnitUSDA-ARSCollege StationUSA

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