Some insects are pesticide resistant

Ruth Correll • Updated May 17, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Over the past several years, some insects have been found to be resistant to a pesticide and or maybe even more than one pesticide.  The common Colorado potato beetle, the green peach aphid and the diamondback moth are good examples of pesticide resistant insects that have developed.  These are all pests of either vegetables or ornamental plants.  

The common and readily available product Sevin or carbaryl is a product that has been used so much as a broad spectrum pesticide that some “bugs” actually thrive when it is applied or there is no noticeable effect on the population.  Malathion and imidicloprid are also common broad-spectrum products that have been used so frequently that some insects have developed a resistance or sometimes when we use these products we may actually kill a beneficial insect population and then an undesirable insect population rebounds. The question is, what do we do?  There are strategies or management techniques that can be used.  

The first thing to know when we have a pest population we want to control is, “what is the pest.”  Collect the pest in a small jar or Ziplock type plastic bag and have it identified.  If we know what the bug is, then we can get a specific recommendation about the best control product.  There might be a control option that would not include applying a pesticide if the identity of the “bug” is determined.

The second thing we can do after determining the identity of the pest is get a control recommendation. There may be a specific active ingredient recommended that will work most efficiently. The control may need to be applied at a certain time.  There may be a product rotation strategy that will be helpful.  Having knowledge of the insect’s life cycle and natural predators can be very beneficial. 

Beware when treating for bad bugs. There are many “good bugs” like lady beetles, lacewings, spiders and parasitic wasps that are extremely effective predators. Their prey is often the pest we want to control. The benefit of their foraging often means we can keep pest populations below levels that cause plant injury. When applying pesticides, keep in mind they are not selective for just the “bad” bugs but also target the “good” bugs.

When applying a pesticide, always read the label. The label will list the target insects, the appropriate plants, and the important environmental and personal safety information.  It will often list information about honeybee toxicity and the effects on beneficial insects. The label is the law.  

Do you know what you get when cross the Rolling Stones with the Beatles?  A “squashed bug.”


Agricultural Market Summary

Cattle Market Trends

Calf and feeder cattle prices received a boost this week. Feeder steers, $2 to $6 higher, $116-$192.50; Feeder heifers, $3 higher, $112.50-$195; Slaughter cows, $2 higher, $60-$79; Slaughter bulls, steady, $90.50-$113.


Grain Market Trends

Corn, soybeans, and wheat were up; cotton was up for the week. Corn: Cash price, $3.65-$4.29. July futures closed at $3.90 a bushel, up 13 cents. Soybeans: Cash price, $9.91-$11.04. July futures closed at $10.65 a bushel, up 31 cents. Wheat: Cash price, $4.49-$4.58. July futures closed at $4.74 a bushel, up 11 cents since last Friday.


Tennessee Sheep and Goat Report

Goats: Slaughter kids, $164-$268; Slaughter yearlings, $20-$172; Slaughter nannies, $130-$160; Slaughter bucks, $116-$148. Sheep: Slaughter lambs, $182-220; Slaughter ewes, $88-$130; Slaughter bucks, $70-$104.

For more information, contact the UT-TSU Extension Office in Wilson County at 615-444-9584. You can also find us on Facebook or visit our website at extension.tennessee.edu/wilson. Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu. Ruth Correll, UT Extension-TSU Cooperative Extension agent for Wilson County, may be reached at 615-444-9584 or [email protected]


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