The following treatment plots were established: (1) centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack; Poales: Poaceae) understory (soil covered with centipede grass); (2) weed free understory (bare soil, weeds removed with herbicide sprays); (3) weedy (natural weeds) understory; and (4) pine bark understory (soil covered with pine bark).
In all years, plot maintenance was done by using a hand held mower to cut overgrown weeds in the weedy and centipede grass orchards to a height of ~10 cm.
Before the main experiment in 2009, a series of experiments (preliminary tests) were first carried out to determine the ideal soil conditions required to produce optimum growth of centipede grass and natural weeds and to establish those without live plants (pine bark and weed free).
Adult emergence was significantly lower in the centipede grass treated understory compared with the weed free understory in 2007 (Fig.
In general, fewer adults emerged from the centipede grass treatment than from the remaining treatments (Fig.
However, numerically fewer adults emerged from the centipede grass treatment in spring 2009 (Fig.
Although not significant in many cases, the centipede grass treatment consistently recorded fewer plum curculio adults in the field suggesting that planting of centipede grass, a warm season grass, in peach orchards, can potentially reduce the development and adult emergence of the southern strain of plum curculio.
The identification of a mechanism mediating reduced emergence of plum curculio in centipede grass was beyond the scope of this study.