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Mortality of Insects on the Surface of Plants using an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Discharge

Brian L. Bures, Mohamed A. Bourham, Kevin V. Donohue, Shengyou Long, and R. Michael Roe


This paper presents evidence for the efficacy of atmospheric pressure plasma discharge (APPD) in the absence of chemical species and above ambient gas temperature on insect control. The treatment of a model insect system, green peach aphids, was carried out on a plastic surface and tobacco leaves. Both treatments show a reduction in green peach aphid populations, but their mortality on a plastic surface (88% mortality) was significantly higher than that on tobacco leaves (40%) for a 120 s treatment. The reduction in mortality of green peach aphids on leaves is likely from the leaf acting as a lightning rod that is drawing the plasma away from the aphids. For practical applications, the thermal component of the discharge will accompany the plasma treatment to decrease treatment duration.

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Document last modified 04/27/04