To develop an insecticide resistance management program for onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), on onions (Allium spp.), we surveyed populations in commercial onion fields in New York and evaluated their susceptibility to the two most widely used classes of insecticides plus two new insecticides during 2003–2005. All insecticide evaluations were conducted using the Thrips Insecticide Bioassay System (TIBS). As in our surveys conducted during 2002–2003, there were large temporal and spatial variations in susceptibility to the pyrethroid λ-cyhalothrin (Warrior) across onion-growing regions in 2003. New data indicate that the field rate of methomyl (Lannate LV) still provides control but that the genes for resistance to methomyl are present in some populations. Tests with the two new insecticides, acetamiprid (Assail 70 WP) and spinosad (SpinTor 2CS), indicated they provided >85% mortality at the field rate. To determine the spatial variation in insecticide susceptibility within a region, a series of systematic assays were conducted with λ-cyhalothrin and methomyl. In 2004 and 2005, our data indicated that the within-region spatial variation in susceptibility to λ-cyhalothrin was not large at the field rate or for the 100 ppm rate of methomyl. In 2005, a year in which T. tabaci densities in most fields were much higher than in 2004, growers were unable to control T. tabaci in particular fields and attributed this lack of control to resistance. Yet, we found similar levels of high susceptibility in all fields when using TIBS. This finding suggests that resistance had not developed and that variation in control may have been due to other factors, such as localized higher populations, poor spray coverage, too much time between spray applications, or different onion varieties.
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Vol. 99 • No. 5