Soil application of neonicotinoid insecticides for control of insect pests in wine grape vineyards



BACKGROUND: Soil application of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides can provide opportunities for long-term control of insect pests in vineyards, with minimal risk of pesticide drift or worker exposure. This study compared the effectiveness of neonicotinoid insecticides applied via irrigation injection on key early-season and mid-season insect pests of vineyards in the eastern United States.

RESULTS: On vines trained to grow on drip irrigation, early-season application of imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam and dinotefuran provided high levels of control against the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae. Protection of vines against Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, and grape berry moth, Paralobesia viteana, was also observed after mid-season applications. Efficacy was poor in commercial vineyards when treatments were applied to the soil before irrigation or rain, indicating that vines must be grown with an irrigation system for efficient uptake of the insecticide.

CONCLUSIONS: In drip-irrigated vineyards, soil-applied neonicotinoids can be used to provide long residual control of either early-season or mid- to late-season foliage pests of vineyards. This approach can reduce the dependence on foliar-applied insecticides, with associated benefits for non-target exposure to workers and natural enemies. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry