Armored scale insects are among the most difficult to manage and economically important arthropod pests in the production and maintenance of urban landscape plants. This is because of morphological traits that protect them from contact insecticides. I compared initial and season-long control of euonymus scale, Unaspis euonymi Comstock (Hemiptera: Diaspidae), by reduced-risk insecticides (insect growth regulators [IGRs], neonicotinoids, spirotetramat) to determine if they controlled scale as well as more toxic insecticides such as the organophosphate, acephate, and pyrethroid, bifenthrin. I also evaluated how these insecticides affected natural enemy abundance on experimental plants and survival when exposed to insecticide residue. All insecticides tested reduced first generation euonymus scale abundance. In 2009, reinfestation by second generation euonymus scale was highest on plants treated with acetamiprid and granular dinotefuran. In 2010, systemic neonicotinoids and spirotetramat prevented cottony cushion scale infestation 133 d after treatment whereas scale readily infested plants treated with bifenthrin and horticultural oil. Encarsia spp. and Cybocephalus spp. abundance was related to scale abundance. These natural enemies were generally less abundant than predicted by scale abundance on granular dinotefuran treated plants and more abundant on granular thiamethoxam treated plants. Bifenthrin residue killed 90–100% of O. insidiosus and E. citrina within 24 h. My results indicate that reduced risk insecticides can provide season-long scale control with less impact on natural enemies than conventional insecticides. This could have economic and environmental benefits by reducing the number of applications necessary to protect nursery and landscape plants from scale.
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Vol. 41 • No. 2