Spinosad was proposed as a potential chemical for control of lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), in Australian broiler houses after the detection of strong cyfluthrin resistance in many beetle populations. In 2004–2006, spinosad susceptibility of 13 beetle populations from eastern and southern Australian broiler houses and a cyfluthrin/fenitrothion-resistant reference population was determined using topical application, and was compared with the susceptibility of an insecticide-susceptible reference population. Comparisons of dose–response curves and baseline data showed that all populations, including the insecticide-susceptible population, were roughly equivalent in their response to spinosad, indicating no preexisting spinosad resistance. Two field populations, including the resistant reference population, which had confirmed cyfluthrin/fenitrothion-resistance, showed no cross-resistance to spinosad. There was no significant correlation between beetle weight and LC99.9. A discriminating concentration of 3% spinosad was set to separate resistant and susceptible individuals. Considering the levels of spinosad resistance that have been recorded in other insect pests, the sustained future usefulness of spinosad as a broiler house treatment will rely on effective integrated beetle management programs combined with carefully planned chemical use strategies.
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Vol. 100 • No. 4