Pesticide Resistance in Florida Insects Limits Management Options


  • Gary L. Leibee
  • John L. Capinera


Pesticide resistance in Florida was characterized through a survey and literature review. The survey was conducted in 1994 among public-sector entomologists to determine the current and future status, extent, context, pattern, and instances of pesticide (insecticide and acaricide) resistance in Florida. Results attested to the impact of pesticide resistance on the management of numerous arthropods in Florida. Twenty-five examples of insecticide and acaricide resistance were cited by survey respondents in agricultural, ornamental and landscape, medical and veterinary, or household and structural pests. It remains possible to manage most arthropods by using chemical pesticides, but the current and anticipated lack of efficacious materials threatens current practices in some areas. Trends in extent, context, or patterns of resistance were noted as follows: high value crops, frequently treated arthropods, smaller arthropods, and pyrethroids were all considered factors associated with resistance. Insecticide resistance and its management were reviewed in depth for the leafminer Liriomyza trifolii and the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, two major insect pests in Florida for which management options have become severely limited because of insecticide resistance. Both cultural practices (continuous cropping, isolation, transport of infested seedlings) and pesticide use patterns (frequent application of broad spectrum pesticides) contributed to L. trifolii and P. xylostella resistance development. The history of pesticide resistance in these two insects is probably typical of pest resistance in Florida and may portend similar future problems unless dependency on pesticides for pest suppression is reduced through adoption of IPM philosophy and practices.






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