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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Laboratory evaluation of insecticides for control of the invasive Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae)

item Bloem, Stephanie
item Mizell Iii, Russell
item Bloem, Kenneth
item Hight, Stephen
item Carpenter, James

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/6/2005
Publication Date: 12/10/2005
Citation: Bloem, S., Mizell Iii, R.F., Bloem, K.A., Hight, S.D., Carpenter, J.E. 2005. Laboratory evaluation of insecticides for control of the invasive Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae). Florida Entomologist. 88(4):395-400.

Interpretive Summary: Interpretive Summary The South American cactus moth successfully controlled unwanted prickly pear cactus in many parts of the world. However, the rapid invasion of this insect along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of southeastern United States has raised concerns about this moth’s unavoidable and unwanted impact on native, agricultural, and ornamental cactus in its new homeland. Scientists with USDA Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Tallahassee, FL and Crop Protection and Management Research Unit in Tifton, GA are looking into ways of controlling this insect with insecticides in urban and agricultural settings. Effective insecticides could be used to manage the cactus moth in plant nurseries, backyards, and landscaped public lands. Also, insecticides could be used to treat ornamental prickly pears in plant nurseries to prevent infested plants from being sold to the public. Four of the nine different insecticides evaluated were very good at killing eggs and newly hatched caterpillars of the cactus moth. All four insecticides are registered for use on ornamental plants, and three of the insecticides are registered for use on vegetables in Florida.

Technical Abstract: Technical Abstract: We conducted laboratory assays of nine products registered for use on ornamental plants in Florida for their ovicidal and larvicidal activity against the invasive cactus moth Cactoblastis cactorum. One-hundred percent mortality (or 0% survival) of 1-day-old eggs was obtained when egg stick sections were treated with cypermethrin, spinosad or imidacloprid. These products were equally as effective when assayed against eggs that were fully embryonated (28 days old) or when cladodes of Opuntia stricta were exposed to neonates 24 hours after dipping or to cladodes that were dipped and stored for 30 days before exposure. When Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel®) was used to prevent neonate penetration into treated cladodes of O. stricta 100% mortality (or 0% survival) was recorded in the laboratory.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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