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Make Sure Bugs Don’t Become Insecticide-Resistant

After a few insect become resistant, it’s very hard to make sure that more and more resistant bugs don’t spread and the populations doesn’t grow. Therefore, it’s necessary to ensure that insects don’t become insecticide-resistant.

Tactics for pesticide management and integrated pest management (IPM) slow insects’ ability to become resistant.

  1. Survey the need. There are well-researched methods of taking a sample of your particular pests to determine if pesticides are even necessary or helpful. This takes into account the economics of using pesticides. If they would be helpful, investigate when to use it so that the pests are most likely to be affected. Once pesticides are applied, it’s also important to continue monitoring how many pests there.

  2. Use all IPM controls available to you. Insecticides are only one piece of the recipe. An effective IPM will also employ pest predators and parasites (biological control), cultural practices, sanitation and machine-run control. Healthy crops are less likely to be affected by pests.

  3. Be choosey and careful using insecticides.

Sometimes more than one spray of insecticide is necessary. If that’s the case, try different kinds of pest control before applying the same MOA. Don’t apply the same MOA more than twice in a row. Make sure that tank mix insecticides are active against the pests you’re trying to kill.

Some crops call for pre-determined timing of insecticide spray, that is best for the crop’s development and hits the insects at their weakest. It is possible to spray a compound several times during this window but it is very important not to spray two generations in a row with the same insecticide.

Follow instructions on the insecticides’ labels for how and how much to apply. If you use less, it’s more likely that the strong insects will survive, allowing them to produce strong offspring. It is appealing to use less insecticide, but scientifically, it has not been shown to manage resistance.

Long-residual insecticides should be used less and less. If you must use them, try them in rotation with other control methods so they can be used for a shorter term creating less exposure. Make sure to get the kinds that aren’t as harmful to your pests’ natural enemies.

When you can, treat only specific areas. The edges of fields or other particular spots can be sprayed separately. Alternatively, leave unsprayed areas or have a neighboring field unsprayed as an escape for weak pests. This way, pests from the untreated ares will breed with potentially resistant pests, making the potential for a resistant population less.

Be organized and record all sprays used. This will help for future planning. In your records, record insects present, insecticides used and the location, and how much control resulted. Note the number of applications as well as the rate and timing.

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