Hydrogen Peroxide for Insect and Algae Control in a Lettuce Hydroponic Environment

  •  Vanessa Caixeta    
  •  Adriano da Mata    
  •  Carmen Rosa da Silva Curvêlo    
  •  Wagner Tavares    
  •  Luiz Ferreira    
  •  Alexandre Pereira    


Insects and algae demonstrate adaptability in hydroponic environments. Algae attract flies, Bradysia spp. (Diptera: Sciaridae) and Scatella stagnalis (Diptera: Ephydridae), called fungus gnats and shore fly, respectively. Flies feed on algae, damaging seedlings radicellae, and may transmit pathogens to lettuce plants. Little information on the management of flies and algae is known. A paradox in the face of the expansion of hydroponics. The objective was to evaluate the potential of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an insecticide and algaecide agent. Entomopathogenic fungi were also evaluated as an alternative control to flies. The experiment was conducted in a commercial hydroponic system under a randomized complete block design with 5 treatments and 4 replicates. The treatments, sprayed on the phenolic foam plates, immediately after lettuce seed deposition, were: H2O2, Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, Spinosyn and water, as control. The quality of the lettuce seedlings (cv. Brida), the presence of flies and algae evolution in the phenolic foam plates were recorded daily. H2O2 and Spinosyn affected lettuce seed germination, but were able to reduce adult flies on the phenolic foam cells. The highest number of larvae was observed with both fungi, and only water, compared to H2O2. No larvae were found in Spinosyn sprayed phenolic foam cells. However, lettuce seedlings from Spinosyn sprayed plates were those with lower fresh weight. H2O2 severely retained algae infestation in phenolic foam cells over a 15-day observation period. The present work demonstrates the potential that H2O2 can play as an insecticidal and algaecide agent in hydroponic environments.

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