• Is emamectin benzoate effective against the different stages of Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae)?

      Bengochea, I.; Sanchez-Ramos, I.; Saelices, R.; Amor, F.; del Estal, P.; Vinuela, E.; Adan, A.; Lopez, A.; Budia, F.; Medina, P. (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2014)
      The beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae), is a major polyphagous pest in greenhouses and open fields worldwide and also a main problem in sweet pepper greenhouses. The effectiveness of the pesticide emamectin benzoate was tested in the laboratory on different stages of S. exigua using different concentrations and uptake routes. After dipping young (<24-h-old) and old (>48-h-old) S. exigua eggs in emamectin benzoate at 0.5, 1 and 1.5 mg/L a.i. the chemical did not exhibit any ovicidal activity. There was, however, progressive neonate mortality at all concentrations, culminating at 72 hours after hatching, when 100% of the larvae from the treated young eggs died. Second and fourth instar S. exigua larvae did not exhibit significant mortality when exposed to the inert surfaces which were treated. In contrast, ingesting a diet contaminated with 0.5 mg/L a.i. of emamectin benzoate caused 100% mortality in L2 and L4 larvae 24 and 72 hours after ingestion, respectively. The LC50 value of the compound against L4 larvae that fed on sprayed sweet pepper leaves for 24 hours was 0.81 mg/L a.i.. When adults were fed on a solution of 0.5 mg/L a.i., there was a reduction in the female and male lifespan of 29.3% and 55.3%, respectively. Fecundity was reduced by more than 99%. These data suggest that emamectin benzoate is not only a useful insecticide when ingested by beet armyworm larvae but it also has ovolarvicidal and adult activity.