New Options for Aphid Management
We’re employing beneficial insects and mites more than ever, but somehow the suggestion to sell aphid-infested plants as ‘ladybug-ready’ hasn’t been widely embraced. It appears for the time being that growers will need to control aphids prior to sale and if the natural enemies released haven’t been up to the task there are some effective options. The newest for aphids (and several other sucking-type pests) is Ventigra, a unique entry to the 9D mode of action class containing afidopyropen, also referred to as Inscalis. It affects insect receptors involved in hearing, feeding, movement and other behaviors. With low impact on many biocontrols it can integrate into existing programs where predators and parasitoids are being released. It is labeled for foliar use in greenhouses, nurseries, interiorscapes, and landscapes on ornamentals and vegetable transplants (those sold for consumer market only). It has translaminar activity, which helps where coverage is difficult. Note label cautions against runoff or drift to ponds or other aquatic areas. The label mentions Ficus benjamina, poinsettias (at bract formation), and coleus ‘Rustic Orange’ as not tolerant and occasional flower discoloration in Impatiens walleriana and petunia. As always, test first before large-scale use and of course verify registration status in your area.
In case you may have missed: Endeavor now has expanded labeling as a spray for vegetable transplants (grown for sale to consumers, including cole crops, cucurbits, fruiting & leafy veg.) and as a container drench for ornamental plants both indoors and out. Noted for both good efficacy against aphids and compatibility with some popular biocontrols (like predatory mites) as well as low toxicity to honey bees and bumblebees, the active ingredient, pymetrozine (mode of action class 9B), is designated as reduced-risk by EPA for use on ornamentals and many vegetables. It also has translaminar activity. We’ve done some recent testing as a drench for potato aphid on ‘Vista Red’ salvia and found it very effective at the labeled 5 oz rate (don’t skimp: 2.5 oz was not). Be sure not to overwater after using as a drench on ornamentals and note the label calls for a minimum 7-day period between foliar application to veg transplants and sale. I am not aware of any known plant sensitivity with Endeavor, though labels advise not to apply to poinsettia after bract formation.
Dan GilreinEntomologist, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County
Dan Gilrein is the Extension Entomologist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center, Riverhead, NY since 1995 and previously served there as IPM Specialist with Cornell from 1987. In his current position he conducts applied research on control of arthropod pests in food crops and on ornamental plants, provides diagnostic services to the horticultural industries, and conducts educational programs and presentations for industry, government officials, civic groups and the public on pests and pest management.