Chemical pesticides can efficiently control insect pests and are often relied upon by nursery producers. With increased consumer concerns regarding insecticides, growers may choose to limit insecticide applications by incorporating natural enemies into their pest management program. This study assessed the effects of commonly used contact (bifenthrin and carbaryl) and systemic (imidacloprid and dinotefuran) insecticides on adult Chrysoperla rufilabris (Burmeister), adult Hippodamia convergens (Guérin-Méneville), and adult Orius insidiosus (Say) to evaluate their safety for use with natural enemies. Insects were confined in experimental arenas either with leaves sprayed to provide insecticide residues or leaves treated with only water and then air-dried prior to use. Both systemic and contact insecticides caused mortality in all three insect species. The contact insecticide bifenthrin was the least toxic to C. rufilabris, and the systemic insecticide, dinotefuran, was not toxic to H. convergens. The broad-spectrum contact insecticide carbaryl was the most toxic insecticide to both C. rufilabris and H. convergens. All insecticides caused mortality to O. insidiosus with bifenthrin being the most toxic. None of the insecticides chosen in this study were “safe” for all three natural enemy species.
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