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J Econ Entomol. 2008 Apr;101(2):375-83.

Mortality of a wireworm, Agriotes obscurus (Coleoptera: Elateridae), after topical application of various insecticides.

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  • 1Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Box 1000, 6947 No. 7 Highway Agassiz, BC V0M 1A0, Canada.


Ten insecticides representing seven chemical groups were applied at various concentrations topically by using a Potter Spray Tower to evaluate their relative toxicities on the European wireworm Agriotes obscurus L. (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Wireworms were stored at 15 degrees C after exposure to organophosphate (OP) (chlorpyrifos, diazinon), pyrethroid (tefluthrin), thianicotinoid (thiamethoxam, clothianidin), chloronicotinoid (imidacloprid, acetamiprid), phenyl pyrazole (fipronil), organochlorine (lindane), and spinosyn (spinosad) insecticides, and their postapplication health was evaluated weekly for up to 301 d. LC50, LC90, LT50, and LT90 values were calculated for each chemical except acetamiprid, and compared with those of lindane, clothianidin, and chlorpyrifos. Wireworms exposed to OPs died or recovered more quickly (LT50 < 20 d, LT90 < 50 d), than those exposed to all other insecticides tested except tefluthrin (LT50 = 25.5 d, LT90 = 66.5 d). Wireworms exposed to sublethal concentrations of all neonicotinoids quickly became moribund after application but made a full recovery. Wireworms exposed to fipronil at concentrations near the LC90 value showed no intoxication symptoms for up to 35 d, and they did not recover after symptoms developed. For each chemical, increasing the concentration increased the time required for wireworms to recover but decreased the time required to kill wireworms. Fipronil was highly toxic to wireworms (LC50 = 0.0001%), but acetamiprid (LC50 = 1.82%), imidacloprid (LC50 = 0.83%), tefluthrin (LC50 = 0.23%), diazinon (LC50 = 0.54%), and spinosad (LC50 = 0.51%) were not. The toxicity of both clothianidin (LC50 = 0.07%) and thiamethoxam (LC50 = 0.17%) were similar to those oflindane (LC50 = 0.06%) and chlorpyrifos (LC50 = 0.10%).

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