Bait sprays containing the toxicant spinosad (GF-120) were applied to citrus groves in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas where Mexican fruit flies were detected in surveillance traps. The sprays were applied as a supplement to a continuous sterile insect release program. Sterile fly captures were 47–63% lower in the treated groves compared with control groves. Eight of 10 secondary pest populations declined in the test groves subsequent to spray applications, but they also declined in the control groves, suggesting that the decline was a seasonal phenomenon rather than a result of the bait sprays. Citrus whitefly, Dialeurodes citri (Ashmead), populations increased modestly and citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi (Ashby), populations remained unchanged compared with pretreatment levels. Thus, no outbreaks of secondary pests occurred as a result of the spinosad bait sprays in this instance, as has been reported for malathion bait sprays in citrus. The bait sprays had no detectable effect on populations of specific indicator species of parasitoids (including Aphytis spp. and Comperiella bifasciata Howard), or on numbers of beneficial insects in general, in the treated groves.
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Vol. 98 • No. 6