Diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), became the major pest of Brassica vegetable production in Guangdong, a province in southeastern China, in the late 1980s and has continued to challenge growers, particularly during the spring and autumn. Control has relied on insecticides and, as has happened in other parts of the world, resistance to these has evolved and subsequent field control failures have occurred. We review and summarize the history of diamondback moth management in Guangdong. We show that the geographic distribution of the pest in China is well described by a simple climate niche model. Our model predicts the seasonal phenology and some of the variation in abundance among years in Guangdong. Discrepancies may reflect migration and insecticide use at a landscape level. The scale of the pest problem experienced varies with management practices. Local production breaks, and strict post harvest hygiene are associated with lower pest pressure on large-scale production units. As more and more insecticides become ineffective the need to implement an insecticide resistance management strategy, as well as basic integrated pest management practices, will become more pressing. The potential use and development of a better forecasting system for diamondback moth that will assist these developments is outlined.
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Vol. 105 • No. 3