The annual bluegrass weevil, Listronotus maculicollis (Kirby), is a major pest of golf course turf in eastern North America and has become particularly problematic owing to widespread development of insecticide resistance. As an alternative option to manage resistant adult L. maculicollis, we explored combinations of the pyrethroid insecticide bifenthrin with an emulsifiable oil formulation of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana strain GHA (Bb ES). Combinations synergistically enhanced mortality in both insecticide-susceptible and insecticide-resistant L. maculicollis adults in the laboratory when bifenthrin was used at LC50s for each population. To determine the component behind the synergism, technical spores of B. bassiana GHA and the emulsifiable oil carrier in the fungal formulation were tested separately or in combination with bifenthrin. In both separate and combined applications, the emulsifiable oil carrier was responsible for high mortality within 3 d after treatment and interacted synergistically with bifenthrin, whereas fungus-induced mortality started later. Strong synergism was also observed in three field experiments with a relatively resistant L. maculicollis population. Combinations of Bb ES and bifenthrin hold promise as an effective L. maculicollis management tool, particularly of pyrethroid-resistant populations.
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Vol. 110 • No. 4