BACKGROUND: Knowledge of the impact of insecticides on Tetranychus urticae Koch and its predator Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot is crucial for IPM. This study evaluates the effect of thiamethoxam on T. urticae and its predator by considering different routes of exposure (topical, residual and contaminated food exposures) and their combinations.
RESULTS: Thiamethoxam effects on T. urticae were higher when residual and contaminated food exposures were considered. The total effect was higher than 90% where contaminated food exposure was involved. On P. persimilis, the total effect was higher in residual and contaminated prey exposures compared with topical exposure, and all combinations of routes of exposure attained a total effect higher than 90%.
CONCLUSION: Thiamethoxam was found to be toxic to T. urticae and P. persimilis; however, the impact of the insecticide depended on the routes of exposure and their combinations. Lethal and sublethal effects occurred in residual and contaminated food exposures, while only sublethal effects occurred in topical exposure of predators and prey. The toxicity of thiamethoxam on prey and predator increased with the number of exposure routes involved. By limiting exposure to thiamethoxam to ingestion of contaminated food only, the impact of the pesticide was more favourable to P. persimilis than to its prey. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry