Effect of Tank Mixing Pesticides in Controlling Western Flower Thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)

in HortScience

Greenhouse managers tank mix pesticides to broaden the spectrum of pest control, and reduce pesticide and labor costs. However, the effect of tank mixing an assortment of pesticides on efficacy to control pests has not been documented. This study assessed how tank mixing commercially available insecticides and miticides in two-, three-, and four-way combinations impacts the control of western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis in greenhouse experiments and a laboratory bioassay. The pesticides screened were spinosad, abamectin, bifenazate, azadirachtin, and imidacloprid. Each pesticide was applied at the label-recommended rate. In the greenhouse experiments, transvaal daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) and lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) flowers were inoculated with 25 adult WFT, and then flowers were sprayed with the designated treatments. After 72 hours, flowers were emasculated to assess the numbers of live and dead WFT. In the laboratory bioassay, chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora) leaf disks, treated with each pesticide and all tank mixes, were exposed to 15 adult WFT. The numbers of live and dead WFT were assessed after 48 hours. For all three experiments, no antagonistic tank mixes were identified. All treatments with spinosad, including the individual application and tank mixes, resulted in high mortality of WFT based on the numbers of live and dead WFT recovered. Our data suggest that tank mixes of spinosad with the other pesticides tested do not affect the efficacy of spinosad in controlling WFT. This information is important to greenhouse managers who want to tank mix pesticides and still control WFT in addition to the other plant-feeding arthropods found in greenhouses.

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