Studies were conducted to evaluate the mortality of blueberry maggot, Rhagoletis mendax Curran, flies exposed to thiamethoxam- and imidacloprid-coated biodegradable (8-cm-diameter) red spheres, under both laboratory and field conditions. Laboratory studies with spheres coated with 0.1–2.0% (AI) of thiamethoxam indicated that they are effective against R. mendax; however, no dose-dependent response was observed. Studies on the effect of visitation time on thiamethoxam-coated spheres showed a decrease in R. mendax mortality as the duration of visitation time decreased from 60 to 10 s. Under field conditions, significantly more flies were captured on Plexiglas panes below the 2% (AI) thiamethoxam-coated spheres when compared with similar panes below untreated spheres. In field evaluations of thiamethoxam- and imidacloprid-coated spheres, imidacloprid-coated spheres (2.0% [AI]) were found to be significantly more effective than thiamethoxam-coated spheres (0.5–4.0% [AI]). Field trials to characterize the levels of mortality associated with aging pesticide-coated spheres revealed that the effectiveness of treated spheres decreased with increasing age of sphere, and this reduction in effectiveness is greater in thiamethoxam-coated spheres than in imidacloprid-coated spheres. These results provide comparative data on the effectiveness of thiamethoxam- and imidacloprid-coated spheres and support the potential of using pesticide-treated spheres for control of blueberry maggot flies.
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Vol. 93 • No. 5