Tropical sod webworm, Herpetogramma phaeopteralis Guenée, is an important pest of warm-season turfgrass in the Gulf Coast states of the United States, the Caribbean Islands, and Central America. Current control recommendations rely on topical application of insecticides against caterpillars. The objective of this study was to generate resistance baseline data of H. phaeopteralis to six insecticide classes. Residual activity of clothianidin, chlorantraniliprole, and bifenthrin was also compared under field conditions in Central Florida. Chlorantraniliprole was the most toxic compound tested (LC50 value of 4.5 ppm), followed by acephate (8.6 ppm), spinosad (31.1 ppm), clothianidin (46.6 ppm), bifenthrin (283 ppm) and Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, (342 ppm). In field tests, all compounds at label rates were effective (≥94% mortality of larvae exposed to fresh residues). However, a more rapid decline in activity of clothianidin and bifenthrin was observed compared with chlorantraniliprole. Clothianidin had no statistically detectable activity after 4 wk post-application in spring and the fall, and bifenthrin had no detectable activity after 3wk in the spring and the fall. However, chlorantraniliprole maintained significant activity (≥84% mortality) compared with other treatments throughout the 5-wk study period. This study provides new information regarding the relative toxicities and persistence of current insecticides used for H. phaeopteralis and other turfgrass caterpillars.
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Vol. 108 • No. 2