Insect growth regulators (IGRs) act specifically on arthropods. This selectivity makes them an interesting alternative to traditional insecticides for pest control. The aim of this work was to test the IGRs azadirachtin, cyromazine, flufenoxuron, lufenuron and pyriproxyfen as useful pesticides for the control of the olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi), a key pest of olive crops.
Of the products tested, the chitin-synthesis inhibitor lufenuron showed the highest efficacy. The life parameter showing the strongest effect was the egg hatch, because lufenuron caused nearly 100% egg mortality 7 days after treatment. However, sterility was not transmitted from the treated males to the untreated females. The LC50 and LC90 values for a 7 day evaluation period were 19.3 and 86.2 µg AI mL−1 respectively. Azadirachtin, cyromazine and flufenoxuron also caused significant increases in egg mortality. However, these increases were less than those produced by lufenuron. Pyriproxyfen had a stimulatory effect on B. oleae fecundity.
Applied as a bait treatment, a procedure used frequently in the field for the control of B. oleae, lufenuron is potentially useful against this important pest.