Application of insecticide at a reduced rate with a cucurbitacin-based feeding stimulant is a viable alternative to a broadcast insecticide application for control of adult western corn rootworms, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, LeConte. Because of the small amount of material applied, it is conceivable that a high density of beetles could consume all of the spray residue before economic control is achieved. A laboratory experiment was conducted to determine the amount of cucurbitacin-based spray residue consumed by beetles. Dried residue of four treatments were exposed to three groups of 10 rootworm beetles for 1 h each. Treatments consisted of a cucurbitacin-based adjuvant (Cidetrak CRW, Trécé, Salinas, CA) with carbaryl insecticide (Sevin XLR Plus, Rhone Poulenc, Research Triangle Park, NC) mixed at 0, 0.12, 1.2, and 12 g (AI)/liter. For the treatment with cucurbitacin adjuvant only (no insecticide), beetles consumed 0.029 mg beetle −1 h−1 of exposure. Approximately 54% of the beetles were recorded as feeding at any given time during the 60-min feeding period. However, when the spray residue contained carbaryl, no weight loss of treatment residue was measured, though the beetles were observed to feed from the residue during the first few minutes of exposure. When residue included insecticide, beetles quickly ceased feeding (within 20 min), and toxicity behavior was observed 30 min after initial exposure for up to 75% of the beetles, which were classified as moribund (unable to stand upright). Beetle mortality was recorded 24 h after exposure and demonstrated that male beetles (53% dead for three insecticide treatments) were more susceptible to carbaryl toxicity than female beetles (28% dead for three insecticide treatments). Regression analysis showed a significant positive relationship between mortality of female beetles and ovarian development. Based on the measurements of this experiment, it is unlikely that realistic beetle densities would consume enough spray residue to prevent economic control of the beetle population.
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Vol. 94 • No. 6