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J Econ Entomol. 2010 Oct;103(5):1735-43.

Optimizing a basal bark spray of dinotefuran to manage armored scales (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) in Christmas tree plantations.

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  • 1CAES, Valley Laboratory, P.O. Box 248, Windsor, CT 06095, USA.


The armored scales Fiorinia externa Ferris and Aspidiotus cryptomeriae Kuwana (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) are increasingly damaging to Christmas tree plantings in southern New England. The systemic insecticide dinotefuran was investigated for selectively suppressing armored scale populations relative to their natural enemies in cooperating growers' fields in 2008 and 2009. Banded soil application of dinotefuran resulted in poor control. However, a dinotefuran spray applied to the basal 25 cm of trunk resulted in its absorption through the bark, translocation to the foliage, and good efficacy. The basal bark spray did not significantly impact the activity of predators Chilocorus stigma (Say) or Cybocephalus nipponicus Enrody-Younga and in 2009 showed a dosage-dependent improvement in the percentage of scales parasitized by Encarsia citrina Craw. A field dosage-response factorial experiment revealed that a 0.25% (vol:vol) addition of a surfactant with dinotefuran did not enhance insecticidal effect. Probit-transformed scale population reduction relative to the untreated check was subjected to linear regression analysis; reduction of scale populations was proportional to the log of insecticide dosage, whereas basal bark spray efficacy declined in proportion to the cube of tree height. The regression equation can be used to optimize dosage relative to tree height. Excellent efficacy resulted from basal bark spray application dates of 28 April (prebud break) to mid-June, but earlier spray timing within that treatment window had fewer crawlers discoloring new growth with their short-lived feeding. A basal bark spray of dinotefuran is well suited for integration with natural enemies to manage armored scales in Christmas tree plantations.

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