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J Econ Entomol. 2013 Feb;106(1):247-56.

Efficacy of pesticide mixtures against the western flower thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) under laboratory and greenhouse conditions.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, 123 Waters Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-4004, USA. awillmot@ksu.edu


Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande is a commonly encountered and economically important insect pest of greenhouses. Greenhouse producers typically apply pesticides as mixtures to mitigate western flower thrips populations; however, there is limited information available on the compatibility and efficacy of commonly used pesticide mixtures. This study assessed nine binary and three tertiary pesticide mixtures used in greenhouses which included pesticides containing abamectin, acephate, azadirachtin, bifenazate, bifenthrin, fenpropathrin, imidacloprid, novaluron, pymetrozine, and spinosad. Compatibility was determined for the binary pesticide mixtures using jar tests. In addition, the binary mixtures were applied to nine horticultural plant species to determine phytotoxicity based on visual appearance assessed 7 d after treatment. Bean-dip bioassays were performed in a laboratory using green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to determine LC50 values for each individual pesticide and the mixtures to establish whether the mixtures were synergistic, antagonistic, or there was no effect. The mortality of western flower thrips was assessed after 24 h, and LC50 values were calculated. Furthermore, semifield bioassays were performed in greenhouses for binary and tertiary mixtures to evaluate the efficacy (based on percent mortality) of the pesticide mixtures against western flower thrips. Results indicated that all binary mixtures were visibly compatible, and not phytotoxic to any of the plant species evaluated. Combination index calculations based on laboratory results indicated most of the binary mixtures were synergistic; however, the mixture containing spinosad + bifenazate appeared to be antagonistic against western flower thrips. The semifield bioassays demonstrated significantly reduced efficacy associated with mixtures containing azadirachtin, however, all binary mixtures provided approximately 80% western flower thrips mortality.

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