Effects of Insecticides on Behavior of Adult Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae) and Transmission of Candidatus Liberibacter psyllaurous

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The potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), is a serious pest of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) that can cause yield loss by direct feeding on crop plants and by vectoring a bacterial pathogen, Candidatus Liberibacer psyllaurous. Current pest management practices rely on the use of insecticides to control the potato psyllid to lower disease incidences and increase yields. Although many studies have focused on the mortality that insecticides can cause on potato psyllid populations, little is known regarding the behavioral responses of the potato psyllid to insecticides or whether insecticides can decrease pathogen transmission. Thus, the objectives of this study were to determine the effects of insecticides on adult potato psyllid behaviors, the residual effects of insecticides on potato psyllid behaviors over time, and effects of these insecticides on Ca. L. psyllaurous transmission. Insecticides tested included imidacloprid, kaolin particle film, horticultural spray oil, abamectin, and pymetrozine. All insecticides significantly reduced probing durations and increased the amount of time adult psyllids spent off the leaflets, suggesting that these chemicals may be deterrents to feeding as well as repellents. Nonfeeding behaviors such as tasting, resting, and cleaning showed variable relationships with the different insecticide treatments over time. The insecticides imidacloprid and abamectin significantly lowered transmission of Ca. L. psyllaurous compared with untreated controls. The implications of our results for the selection of insecticides useful for an integrated pest management program for potato psyllid control are discussed.

Keywords: IPM; insecticides; potato; potato psyllid; “zebra chip”

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC10285

Publication date: April 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • 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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