Action Thresholds for Aphid Management with Reduced-Risk and Conventional Insecticides in Desert Head Lettuce
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AbstractAction thresholds, based on the percentage of plants infested, for the aphid pest complex found in head lettuce were evaluated in October, November and December plantings in 2005 and 2006 at the Yuma Agricultural Center. Action thresholds were also evaluated for their compatibility with newly developed reduced-risk and conventional insecticides. Although all five common aphid species were present in both years of the study, foxglove aphids provided most of the pest pressure. Compared with the SAC threshold treatment (sprayed-at colonization; essentially sprayed weekly until new aphid colonies were not found), action thresholds of 10% and 30% plants infested with 5 or more aphids resulted in fewer insecticide applications, while maintaining varying levels of head contamination at harvest. Despite variable pest pressure between years and planting dates, the threshold based on 10% infested plants performed as well as the SAC but with half as many sprays and no significant head contamination. However, significant head contamination was experienced when the 10% action threshold was used exclusively with reduced-risk insecticides.