Measuring Up Kontos

Measuring Up Kontos

Managing common insect pests successfully usually involves an integration of control tactics aimed at minimizing pest immigration and reproduction in the target crop. Successful pest management also involves maximizing the impact of mortality factors that regulate pest density.

When conditions are favorable for insect colonization and development and mortality by weather and natural enemies is low, applications of insecticides may be necessary to minimize crop damage. Whiteflies, mealybugs and leafminers are among the most challenging pests to control. Problems with these pests often start when propagules–usually the less conspicuous and most easily transported life stage of the species–are introduced into the crop.

Whitefly, mealybug and leafminer eggs and early instars are very difficult to detect by routine inspection due to their small size and secluded behavior. Once established, populations of these insects can quickly reach unacceptable levels triggering insecticide applications.

Fortunately, several new insecticides such as spirotetramat (Kontos) are now on the market that more effectively target these pest species and more easily integrate into modern pest management programs.

Why Such Damaging Pests?

Whiteflies, mealybugs and scale insects feed by piercing the leaf or stem and sucking the plant’s sap or cellular contents. As a byproduct of their feeding, many of these insects cover themselves with a waxy substance that protects them from desiccation and from many contact insecticides. Similarly, leafminer larvae are protected from most contact sprays as they feed inside the leaf tissue and complete development in the soil, away from sprayed plant surfaces.

Controlling established populations of these pests often requires the timely use of systemic insecticides. Systemic insecticides are incorporated by the plant after application and move from treated surfaces to untreated ones, thus providing better coverage than contact sprays. Whether or not an insecticide moves within the plant and the speed at which it moves is based on both the chemical and physical properties of the molecule and the size (and transporting mechanism) of the plant. Most of the new systemic insecticide molecules can move acropetally (toward the tips of the plant) via the xylem. But, often because they are highly water soluble, the molecules do not effectively move basipetally (toward the base of the plant) in the phloem.

Spirotetramat is a true systemic insecticide. Once in the plant, it converts to spirotetramat-enol, a molecule with a good combination of characteristics for phloem mobility. Even though the compound is not very water soluble, it is a weak acid with intermediate lipophilicity (membrane permeability), which allows it to slowly diffuse through, accumulate into and get moved by the phloem cells.

The information that follows is a summary of tests conducted in the last three years to assess efficacy of Kontos against whiteflies, serpentine leafminers and solanum mealybugs attacking flowering plants commonly grown in greenhouses.

Mealybug Control Using Kontos

Using mealybug-infested ‘Miramar’ chrysanthemums, we tested efficacy of two formulations of spirotetramat (240 SC and 150 OD) at two doses each (high and low) corresponding to 1.7 and 3.4 fluid ounces per 100 gallons for 240 SC, and 2.7 and 5.4 fluid ounces per 100 gallons for 150 OD, to that of Marathon II (imidacloprid) at 1.7 fluid ounces per 100 gallons and Marathon Ultra at 25 fluid ounces per 100 gallons–all as foliar sprays applied 14 days apart.

We also tested drench treatments (one application) of the 240 SC low rate and Marathon II at 1.7 fluid ounces per 100 gallons. Control plants received no applications. All spirotetramat formulations performed well against both nymphs and adults, relative to imidacloprid formulations, but control was better at two weeks after treatment (Figure 1, scroll down). This is expected based on the chemical properties of the spirotetramat molecule. Results were similar after the second foliar application but surprisingly, the drench treatment continued to work well 28 days after application (Figure 2, scroll down).

Whitefly Control Using Kontos

Using whitefly-infested ‘Freedom Red’ poinsettias, we tested efficacy of spirotetramat (BYI08330) drench applications at 0.85, 1.7, 2.5 and 3.4 fluid ounces per 1,000 pots (6 inch) to that of Safari (dinotefuran) at 24 ounces per 100 gallons. We also compared foliar applications (two applications 14 days apart) of spirotetramat (BYI08330) at 1.7 and 3.4 fluid ounces per 100 gallons to that of TriStar (acetamiprid) at 2.3 ounces per 100 gallons. Control plants received no applications.

Both drench and foliar applications of spirotetramat performed well relative to Safari and Tristar but residual activity was longer when spirotetramat was applied as a drench (Figure 3, scroll down). Drench applications continued to show activity on whitefly nymphs even five weeks after treatment.

Leafminer Control Using Kontos

We tested efficacy of Kontos against leafminers on potted ‘Miramar’ chrysanthemums under two conditions. On the first test, we infested plants one day after insecticide application. On the second test, we infested plants three days before insecticide applications to determine protection and residual activity.

We tested efficacy of Kontos drench applications at 0.05, 0.075 and 0.1 milliliter per liter of soil-media to that of Flagship (thiamethoxam) at 113 grams per 100 gallons. We also compared foliar applications of Kontos at 1.7, 2.5 and 3.4 fluid ounces per 100 gallons to that of Avid (abamectin) at 4 ounces per 100 gallons. Control plants received no applications.

As expected, leafminer control was faster when the insecticides were applied the day before infestation. Drench treatments also performed better than foliar applications and provided longer residual activity.

Takeaways

The efficacy of Kontos compared well with that of several products against a variety of insect pests, including mealybugs, whiteflies and leafminers. Based on its efficacy and novel mode of action, Kontos is a great tool for insecticide resistance mitigation and management of these important pests.

Insect control by Kontos is slow but long lasting. It is best used against small populations before damage occurs and may not be a good option for rescue treatments when pest populations are already high. Based on the research, Kontos is best used as part of an integrated pest management program that includes monitoring to detect small to moderate population densities.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Measuring Up Kontos

More From Insect Control...

April 28, 2016

Holistic, Integrated Approach To Pest Control Rooted In Research

Greenhouse growers have been practicing integrated pest management for decades, but it’s becoming increasingly more important with the continued scrutiny of conventional pest control by a number of “regulators” — government, retail, and consumers. I just returned from Meister Media Worldwide’s Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference, in Monterey, CA, at the beginning of March this year, which served 450 attendees and 50 exhibiting supplier companies. It’s clear from the presentations and the growing attendance at this specialized event — now only in its second year — that use of biocontrols in IPM will continue to be adopted widely, as more growers get past their personal hurdles of doubt and intimidation, and embrace a new way to approach pest and disease control. Many growers think of using biocontrols as an all-or-nothing approach, but ultimately, IPM is about balance. Growers will need to continue to focus on IPM, integrating chemistry with biology, because […]

Read More
Cicada (Greg Hoover, Penn State)

April 26, 2016

Cicadas Set To Emerge In Several Eastern States This Spring

While there’s no immediate cause for alarm, experts say the cicada’s egg-laying process can damage woody ornamentals and make them vulnerable to diseases.

Read More
Parasitized aphid mummies, ladybird beetle larvae

April 18, 2016

4 Things You Need To Know About Implementing Biological Controls

Biocontrols are useful alternatives to traditional pesticides that provide effective pest control in the greenhouse. Here are four ways to get started successfully.

Read More
Latest Stories

April 28, 2016

Holistic, Integrated Approach To Pest Control Rooted In…

Greenhouse growers have been practicing integrated pest management for decades, but it’s becoming increasingly more important with the continued scrutiny of conventional pest control by a number of “regulators” — government, retail, and consumers. I just returned from Meister Media Worldwide’s Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference, in Monterey, CA, at the beginning of March this year, which served 450 attendees and 50 exhibiting supplier companies. It’s clear from the presentations and the growing attendance at this specialized event — now only in its second year — that use of biocontrols in IPM will continue to be adopted widely, as more growers get past their personal hurdles of doubt and intimidation, and embrace a new way to approach pest and disease control. Many growers think of using biocontrols as an all-or-nothing approach, but ultimately, IPM is about balance. Growers will need to continue to focus on IPM, integrating chemistry with biology, because […]

Read More
Cicada (Greg Hoover, Penn State)

April 26, 2016

Cicadas Set To Emerge In Several Eastern States This Sp…

While there’s no immediate cause for alarm, experts say the cicada’s egg-laying process can damage woody ornamentals and make them vulnerable to diseases.

Read More
Parasitized aphid mummies, ladybird beetle larvae

April 18, 2016

4 Things You Need To Know About Implementing Biological…

Biocontrols are useful alternatives to traditional pesticides that provide effective pest control in the greenhouse. Here are four ways to get started successfully.

Read More

March 22, 2016

EPA Approves Syngenta’s Mainspring GNL Insecticide For …

Featuring the active ingredient cyantraniliprole, Mainspring GNL provides broad-spectrum control of key pests, such as thrips, whiteflies, aphids, caterpillars, leafminers, and leaf-feeding beetles.

Read More
Biocontrols and beneficials absolutely can be used in outdoor production, with the use of banker plant systems

March 8, 2016

France-Based InVivo Acquiring Bioline, Syngenta’s Bioco…

Bioline, a subsidiary of Syngenta, specializes in the production and marketing of biological control agents, and in particular macroorganisms active against insect pests in fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

Read More

February 17, 2016

Why It’s Important To Stay One Step Ahead Of Thri…

Keep thrips populations in check and avoid pesticide resistance by using spray and drench products known for their effectiveness.

Read More
The beneficial parasitoid Encarsia formosa feeding on greenhouse whitefly

February 12, 2016

Biological Pest Control Starts With Accounting For Pe…

When pest pressure is high, biological controls alone may not be enough to take care of the problem. Make sure that any pesticides you use won’t harm the beneficials hard at work in your greenhouse.

Read More
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans

February 8, 2016

Register Now For Biocontrols USA 2016 Workshop

Biocontrol is becoming a mainstream part of growing plants commercially. Every good program starts with quality products and a good supply chain. Register now to join us from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on March 4, following the conclusion of the education program at the Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA for a special event that will help you improve your biocontrols program. In this informative, real-world workshop led by biocontrols expert Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, owner of Buglady Consulting, you’ll learn: The key players that are producing beneficials How to check product quality once you get them The latest trends and practices growers are using to implement beneficials into their programs Important pitfalls to avoid. A roundup of the current biocontrol research that can help you be more successful in your production practices this season. Wainwright-Evans, a pest management specialist, has been involved in the green industry for more than two […]

Read More

January 12, 2016

EPA Releases Preliminary Risk Assessment For Imidaclopr…

The assessment, which will soon be open for public comment, indicates that imidacloprid potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators.

Read More
Vestaron

December 30, 2015

Vestaron’s Spear Bioinsecticide No Longer Carries Bee T…

Following a review that shows it has no detrimental effect on honeybees, EPA has removed the bee toxicity warning statement from Spear.

Read More
USDA Whistleblower Case

November 3, 2015

USDA Bee Scientist Alleges He Was Punished For Reportin…

Entomologist Jonathan Lundgren has filed a whistleblower complaint alleging USDA retaliated against him because of his research on the adverse effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees and monarch butterflies.

Read More

October 7, 2015

Ball FloraPlant Eliminates Neonicotinoid Use On Its Off…

Ball FloraPlant has announced its offshore cuttings farms did not use neonicotinoid-based pest management chemicals during its spring crop production last shipping season, and will continue to be neonic free this year. Instead, the company and its greenhouse managers have relied on alternative means to supply insect-free cuttings to its global customer base.

Read More
Nemasys And Millenium Beneficial Nematodes from BASFm_Nematodes

October 7, 2015

How BASF’s UK Biological Production Facility Expa…

BASF has expanded its biologicals production facility in Littlehampton, UK. The new capacity increases the company’s ability to double the production of beneficial nematodes and inoculants.

Read More

September 23, 2015

New Crop Protection Products And Label Updates

Here are some of the most recent products released and label updates for crop protection agents in the greenhouse and nursery market. Fame Fungicides (FMC Corp.) FMC Corp. has introduce Fame fungicides, a family of FRAC 11 group (Strobilurin) products that delivers fast-acting, patented fluoxastrobin protection against major soil and foliar diseases. Rainfast in 15 minutes, Fame fungicides can be used on most greenhouse and nursery plants and provide fast foliar and root uptake. “Proven by university research, Fame fungicides offer fluoxastrobin action, which ensures a high degree of systemic activity to provide very rapid disease protection and stop further growth of established disease,” says Naimur Rahman, strategy and fungicide marketing product manager for FMC. The Fame fungicide family includes: • Fame SC: a suspension concentrate fungicide containing fluoxastrobin that controls major diseases, including anthracnose, downy mildew, powdery mildew, scab and leaf spot. It provides rapid foliar and root uptake […]

Read More
Offshore farm profiles Dummen Orange Las Mercedes Solanaceas GH

September 8, 2015

Dümmen Orange Implementing Consistent Standards On All …

Owning and operating several locations can be a challenge in maintaining consistent quality and cleanliness across the board. This is true of both breeders and growers. But those who do it right have invested in technology and practices that ensure that plant quality matches, no matter where their plants are shipped from. That’s the goal for Dümmen Orange. Now the world’s largest producer of unrooted cuttings, the company has a combined 150 hectares or 370 acres of production space worldwide, dedicated to cuttings production. Recent acquisitions of product portfolios, both this year and in the past few, has raised the company’s cuttings production expectation to more than 1.4 billion, including 350 million in North America. It has farms all over the world (see the 2015 Top Cuttings Producers ranking to see where), and produces cuttings for its own genetics, as well as collaborating with more than 30 third-party breeders across all […]

Read More
Bill Lewis grower manager at Delray Plants

August 31, 2015

Delray Plants Takes Preventative Approach To Pest Contr…

Trying to control pests effectively on a wide variety of crops is a major undertaking. Delray Plants in Venus, Fla., has been using biological controls as a part of its pest control program for more than 10 years. It operates 300 acres, which includes covered structures and 7 acres of outdoor field production.

Read More
Feature image The Aphid Guard Aphid Banker Plant, coming soon to the market, supports beneficial insect populations.

June 21, 2015

The Latest In Crop Protection

Protecting your plants from the latest threats is no easy task, but new product lines promise to safely and effectively eliminate a wide range of pests and diseases, without harming your employees or the environment.

Read More
Bee On Flower

June 18, 2015

Pest Management And Marketing Strategies For Bee-Friend…

Michigan State University Extension shares pest management practices to produce plants that are safe for pollinators and marketing strategies for clearing up confusion about bee-friendly plants.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]