Sublethal effects of insecticides on the intrinsic rate of increase of cotton aphid
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Insecticides are often implicated in causing outbreaks of the cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii (Glover) (Homoptera: Aphididae), through stimulation of reproduction. In this study we report the sublethal effects of dosages of bifenthrin, acephate, carbofuran or pyriproxifen on cotton aphid reproduction. We could not detect any increase or decrease in the intrinsic rate of increase of cotton aphids exposed to bifenthrin, acephate or carbofuran. However, we did detect some increases in the net reproductive rate of aphids treated with bifenthrin justifying further investigation of the effect on reproduction by this insecticide. Trends based on simple linear regression models suggest that sublethal dosages of bifenthrin or carbofuran have a negative impact on aphid population growth as dosages increase. These data suggest that stimulation of reproduction by these insecticides probably does not play a major role in cotton aphid outbreaks or resurgence. Pyriproxyfen is a juvenoid currently used for control of whiteflies in cotton. It demonstrated significant activity towards cotton aphid reared on treated cotton in our bioassays. Pyriproxyfen caused sterility in most aphids exposed to dosages exceeding 1 ppm, and reduced aphid longevity by approximately 50%. However, it did not appear to greatly influence the reproductive potential or longevity of reproductively mature aphids. A field study indicates that pyriproxyfen affects cotton aphid population structure and may have potential in managing cotton aphid outbreaks. Modifying aphid population structure and growth through the use of juvenoids such as pyriproxifen may prove to be an effective proactive approach to pest control without adversely impacting beneficial organisms or causing pest resurgence.