Effect of Inactivity Associated with Interstadial Molts on Short-Term Efficacy of Insecticides for Control of Pale Western Cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

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Efficacy of sprayed insecticides used for control of pale western cutworm, Agrotis Orlhogonia Morrison, is retarded by 3-5 d if a substantial proportion of the population is molting at the time of application. Cutworms are inactive during a molt and remain 1-3 cm below the soil surface. In natural infestations sampled before treatment, up to 50% of the cutworms were in a premolt or recent postmolt condition and not feeding. In the laboratory at constant temperatures, the molting time associated with the last two larval instars of pale western cutworm accounted for about one-third of the time between cessation of feeding by the antepenultimate instar and termination of feeding by the ultimate instar. Molting time comprises a large component of larval development in cutworms and its effect on behavior, including response to insecticides, has largely been ignored.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1992

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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