Application of imidacloprid to the soil in which Tabasco pepper, Capsicum frutescens L., seedlings were growing was highly effective against the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae). In just 48 h after the soil drench, aphid numbers on treated plants declined from 292.1 to 33.0 per plant, a reduction of 89%. By 72 and 96 h after the application, the reductions were 97 and 100%, respectively. Reductions in green peach aphid numbers also indicated that imidacloprid readily moved throughout the Tabasco pepper plant. Although, initial green peach aphid reductions at 24 and 48 h after imidacloprid application to soil, were greater on the lower leaves than on the upper leaves, by 72 h toxicity was high throughout the plant. At 48 h, overall green peach aphid reduction on seedlings grown in wet soil was significantly higher than that on plants growing in the drier soil. Regardless of soil moisture or leaf location, no live green peach aphids were detected on treated seedlings after 96 h. After the initial uptake period, toxicity to green peach aphid remained high for 5 wk. Under Tabasco pepper production conditions in Central America, the greatest need for aphid management is just after transplanting. Imidacloprid soil drenches before transplanting should offer the Tabasco pepper producer an extended period of aphid-free production.
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Vol. 98 • No. 6