Isadora Carlos Bordini Abstracts

Isadora Carlos Bordini

M.S. Candidate

Entomology & Insect Sciences

 

International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) - Nearctic Regional Section at the Entomology Society of America Conference

St. Louis, MO 

November 17-20, 2019

 

The conservation of natural enemies is one of the foundational principles that must be implemented for effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in agroecosystems. While natural enemy abundances have been ostensibly researched, fewer studies have been dedicated to determining insecticide safety towards them, biocontrol function, and the most influential natural enemies that drive the arthropod community in crops. Arizona, however, has succeeded in these fields of research and has delivered to cotton growers a successful IPM plan based on insecticide efficacy and conservation of natural enemies through the use of selective insecticides for control of two key pests, whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1), and Lygus bug, primarily Lygus hesperus. Natural enemies have become a potent factor in suppressing whitefly populations below economic levels, and Arizona continues to develop information on insecticide selectivity as more chemistries are introduced for use in cotton.

 

Abstract for Lay Audience

Beneficial insects provide important ecosystem services in the cotton system. They are able to feed on whiteflies and Lygus bugs, insect pests that cause damage and losses in cotton, helping to reduce their numbers significantly. This process is called “biological control”. As a result, fewer sprays are required to control these pests, reducing costs to growers, risk to human health (selective insecticides are less toxic), non-target organisms, and the environment. However, as these beneficial insects are very sensitive to the majority of insecticides, we have to use selective insecticides to protect them. Selective insecticides are designed to kill target pests only, therefore, beneficial insects are conserved. Arizona has a globally acknowledged pest management plan that conducts research on insecticides to determine their effects on beneficial insects. As a result, beneficial insects have become a fundamental factor in controlling pests, reducing the number of sprays drastically over the years. This is one of the few programs in the world that integrates the use of insecticides with ecosystem services provided by insects. However, for new products that had been recently registered, selectivity and compatibility to our program were unknown. These currently registered insecticides were available for control of our pests; however, grower’s decisions in spraying them had been solely based on information provided by manufacturers and on product costs. My project tested the selectivity of these novel insecticides, and we have documented compounds that are very safe towards beneficial insects. Making this information available permits growers to avoid costly investments in products that are incompatible with our program, saving them considerable costs while better supporting ecosystem services and environmental and farm worker health areawide. These insecticides are registered for other crops and insects around the world, therefore, we hope that our results will help to advance pest management programs in other crop systems beyond Arizona.

Last updated 15 Jan 2020