Vegetable Crops News

Insecticides and Spined Soldier Bug

In many IPM programs it is often necessary to supplement biological control with insecticides. Even insecticides touted as being less harmful to natural enemies should be carefully evaluated before being incorporated into an IPM program. Diafenthiuron is a miticide considered harmless to the whitefly parasite Encarsia formosa and the minute pirate bug. Although it was practically non-toxic to spined soldier bug when applied topically, severe mortality occured when bugs ingested it by drinking contaminated water or were exposed to dry residues. It was also more toxic to adults than nymphs, probably because the adults eat and move around more than nymphs, increasing the potential for exposure and risk of poisoning.

Imidacloprid, a newly developed insecticide with activity against a wide variety of sucking insects, caused significant mortality in nymphs and adults through all routes of exposure. However, soil rather than foliar applications may adequately limit spined soldier bug exposure and allow its use in IPM programs.

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