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New Insights Regarding Estimating Lygus Susceptibility to Insecticides

T. J. Dennehy, J. E. Russell, L. Antilla and M. Whitlow


Lygus susceptibility was found to vary widely from year to year, from region to region and, for some insecticides, even within the season. It is for this reason that producers need current, region-specific recommendations in order to determine which insecticides are most effective at their locale. Our studies were intended to improve understanding of the reliability of glass vial bioassays for estimating efficacy of insecticides used against lygus bugs. Results show that the standard glass vial method offers considerable promise for detecting differences in susceptibility of lygus to some, but not all, insecticides. However, mortality in vial bioassays did not serve as a reliable predictor of the relative toxicity of residues of five insecticides in field treatments. Therefore, field evaluations of insecticide efficacy continue to be essential for selecting the insecticides that provide the best control of lygus. Once the most effective materials are selected from field trial results, bioassays can be used to efficiently monitor changes in population susceptibility to these insecticides. Additional new insights provided by our studies are that efficacy of residues of insecticides declined rapidly, such that after three days all insecticides caused very little mortality to adult lygus bugs. Lastly, we found a marked difference between residual and direct contact toxicity of the five insecticides evaluated. Even the insecticide treatments that resulted in relatively low toxicity in residual exposure tests killed 95-100% of lygus bugs that they contacted directly under field conditions. This finding indicates that producers experiencing severe problems with lygus control would be well advised to improve insecticide coverage.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1998 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 1255 - 1259
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998