Spatial and temporal distribution of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam in citrus and impact on Homalodisca coagulata populations



Titers of two systemic neonicotinoid insecticides in citrus trees were measured in conjunction with conventional evaluations of their impact on glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca coagulata (Say); GWSS) populations. Xylem fluid samples were collected at regular intervals and from multiple locations within field-grown citrus trees to determine imidacloprid and thiamethoxam concentrations using commercial ELISA kits. Uptake profiles varied considerably with peak mean titers of imidacloprid occurring 6–8 weeks after application compared with 2 weeks for thiamethoxam. The persistence of each compound also varied as near-peak levels of imidacloprid were sustained for another 6–10 weeks before gradually declining. In contrast, thiamethoxam titers declined more rapidly after the initial peak, possibly reflecting an application rate only one-quarter of that used for imidacloprid. Within-tree distributions were more similar for the two compounds, with no significant effect due to height of the sample (upper or lower half) or to the quadrant location within the tree, with the exception of one quadrant in the thiamethoxam-treated trees. Substantial reductions in GWSS nymphs and adults were observed in imidacloprid-treated trees during the 2001 trial and were sustained for 4–5 months after treatment. Treatment effects on nymphs were not as well pronounced in the 2002 trial, when overall GWSS infestations were much reduced from the previous year. However, consistently lower adult infestations were still observed in 2002 for both treatments compared with untreated trees. Information on the spatial and temporal profiles in citrus trees was obtained for both compounds to complement field impact data and improve understanding of their pest management potential. Copyright © 2004 Society of Chemical Industry