The psyllid Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc) (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) is the vector of a bacterial pathogen causing zebra chip (ZC) disease in potato, Solanum tuberosum L. (Solanaceae). Recently, ZC has become important to potato growers and the potato chipping industry in the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand. In the current study, we evaluated the knockdown effect of 12 insecticides against adult B. cockerelli, and we examined the effects of treating potato leaves: top side only, bottom side only, or both sides. Within 48 h of exposure, abamectin showed the highest and most consistent rate of adult B. cockerelli mortality and a dosage response to three dosages within labeled field rates. Choice tests conducted in petri dishes, involving untreated potato leaves and leaves treated with abamectin, revealed that abamectin did not affect host preference of adult B. cockerelli. A residual test under field conditions revealed that, although highly effective immediately after application, abamectin-effect was nonsignificantly different from control treatments 24 and 48 h after field application. Higher adult B. cockerelli mortality was recorded from potato plants treated with ground application compared with aerial 48 h after application. Our results indicated that abamectin has a high knockdown effect on adult B. cockerelli and that it can be used effectively in insecticide rotation programs against adult B. cockerelli and ZC control in potatoes.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3