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Chemical Compatibility with Beneficial Insects

Many Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs incorporate traditional chemical products and biological control agents (BCAs). Successful programs are well thought-out, preventive and customized to fit your operation’s needs. By coordinating cultural, biological and chemical tactics, you can better maintain or reduce insect populations to acceptable levels.

It is important to first compile historical data on insects, diseases and resistance issues as well as plant protection products, BCAs and other treatments used to ensure compatibility. IPM programs, including ones that incorporate BCAs, are best used preventively, so understanding your crop and potential pest pressure is equally important.
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Compatibility Testing
Knowing how chemical products interact with BCAs in an IPM program is critical for a successful program. Keep up-to-date on research so that you are choosing the right products for your program. The compatibility of the following insecticides and BCAs have been tested to help you avoid trial and error.


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Research from the University of Florida-Apopka has proven Mainspring GNL and Amblyseius swirskii work well together to prevent whiteflies.


Control of Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) on Salvia
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2016 – V. Kumar, G. Kakkar, Osborne, UFL- Apopka
C. McKenzie, USDA-ARS-USHRL Ft. Pierce, FL

  • Salvia plants grown in 1 gal. containers
  • Drench treatment: 6 fl. oz. of solution/container
  • A. swirskii released three times
  • Six replicates: Counts made on two leaves per plant
  • Evaluations made weekly by sampling five leaves per replicate and recording whitefly life stages from two leaf discs (1 cm2) per leaf


Novel Options

Incorporating products with a unique mode of action is another important component of an IPM program to help prevent the development of resistance. Growers should rotate chemistries with different modes of action, selecting products with/from different FRAC and IRAC codes. For example, products in IRAC Group 4D, the butenolides, should not be rotated with products in IRAC Group 4A, the neonicotinoids, because their modes of action are too similar and cross resistance can occur.

Incorporating unique modes of action, like Mainspring GNL in IRAC Group 28 or Endeavor in IRAC Group 9B, will help preserve available control options, especially those that can be used with other chemicals and with BCAs.

For the greatest success, take time to research the control products and the BCAs in your IPM program to ensure compatibility and avoid trial and error.


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