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UCANR electronic extension journal previously published as "Strawberries and Vegetables"
strawberry fields forever
by Mark Bolda
on March 9, 2016 at 4:16 PM
Surendra, what is the rationale on the adding of sulfuric acid to the soil to control lygus? Seems it would lower the soil pH, are people thinking it fumes up and repels the insects at the same time?  
I admit it's a pretty attractive concept, since if we are at all able to repel insects that's great because we are also pushing the soil pH to more plant nutrient providing levels. Some of the worst lygus areas in the Salinas areas also have fairly high soil pH's, sometimes up to 8, making this method a big time draw if it actually has some effect.  
Then again, it's probably going to be difficult from an experimental standpoint to unthread the positive plant effects from the insect repellent ones.  
Let me know more when you have a chance.
by Surendra K. Dara
on March 9, 2016 at 7:37 PM
Hi Mark,  
I am glad you are asking this question and allowing me to clarify an important point. Sulfuric acid is used as a soil amendment by some growers as needed and it appears to have a positive impact on pests. It is not a practice registered for pest management. But when sulfuric acid is applied over the plants, it dries up the plants and destroys the pests.  
Thank you,  
by Mark Bolda
on March 18, 2016 at 3:46 PM
Oh, I see. The sulfuric acid is being applied as a "soil amendment" that also happens to kill everything else at the end of the season. I agree with you - not recommended.
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