A series of bioassays were conducted to determine the relative toxicities and residual activities of insecticides labeled for use in blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) on natural enemies, to identify products with low toxicity or short duration effects on biological control agents. In total, 14 insecticides were evaluated using treated petri dishes and four commercially available natural enemies (Aphidius colemani Viereck, Orius insidiosus [Say], Chrysoperla rufilabris [Burmeister], and Hippodamia convergens [Guérin-Menéville]). Dishes were aged under greenhouse conditions for 0, 3, 7, or 14 d before introducing insects to test residual activity. Acute effects (combined mortality and knockdown) varied by insecticide, residue age, and natural enemy species. Broad-spectrum insecticides caused high mortality to all biocontrol agents, whereas products approved for use in organic agriculture had little effect. The reduced-risk insecticide acetamiprid consistently caused significant acute effects, even after aging for 14 d. Methoxyfenozide, novaluron, and chlorantraniliprole, which also are classified as reduced-risk insecticides, had low toxicity, and along with the organic products could be compatible with biological control. This study provides information to guide blueberry growers in their selection of insecticides. Further research will be needed to determine whether adoption of a pest management program based on the use of more selective insecticides will result in higher levels of biological control in blueberry.
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