Field evaluation of the effects of the insect growth regulator tebufenozide on entomophagous arthropods and pests of apples

G. M. Gurr, W. G. Thwaite, H. I. Nicol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Organophosphate insecticides are very widely used in commercial apple production to control fruit-attacking pests but their broad-spectrum activity constrains biological control of other pests. Compounds with narrow-spectrum activity are therefore desirable. The insect growth regulator (IGR) tebufenozide was compared with another IGR, fenoxycarb, and the organophosphate, azinphos-methyl, in a replicated field trial in the 1994/1995 apple-production season. Vacuum sampling of the tree foliage on five occasions during the growing season showed significantly lower populations of various natural enemies (spiders, lacewings and the specialist mite predator Stethorus spp. adults and larvae) in the azinphosmethyl treatment than in either of the two IGR treatments. The two-spotted mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) was most numerous in the azinphos-methyl treatment. In 1995/1996, the entire trial area was placed under a tebufenozide treatment program to determine the extent to which natural enemy populations would recover when broad-spectrum insecticide (azinphos-methyl) use was halted. Populations of polyphagous natural enemies assumed levels broadly equivalent to those observed under IGR treatments the previous year. Numbers of Stethorus spp. were lower than in the 1994/1995 season, possibly because T. urticae (prey) populations were much reduced from the previous season's densities. All three insecticide treatments were equally effective in controlling the lepidopteran pests, codling moth (Cydia pomonella (L.)), lightbrown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana (Walker)) and early season caterpillars (predominantly Helicoverpa punctigera (Wallengren)). Results indicate that tebufenozide provides good control of lepidopteran pests, while allowing the rapid build-up of natural enemies which contribute to control of other pests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Entomology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 04 May 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Field evaluation of the effects of the insect growth regulator tebufenozide on entomophagous arthropods and pests of apples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this