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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 38, Issue 2 — March 2012

Effects of Imidacloprid on Spider Mite (Acari: Tetranychidae) Abundance and Associated Injury to Boxwood (Buxus spp.)    (View PDF)

Adrianna Szczepaniec and Michael J. Raupp

Abstract: Boxwoods are one of the most widely used woody shrubs in managed landscapes, but they suffer frequent attack by the boxwood leafminer (Monarthropalpus flavus). The neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid is highly efficacious in reducing the abundance of M. flavus when applied as a foliar spray or a soil drench. Recent reports of elevated populations of spider mites following applications of imidacloprid to other species of woody plants prompted an investigation to determine the effects of imidacloprid on abundance of a specialist spider mite, Eurytetranychus buxi, and the resultant damage it causes. Boxwoods treated with imidacloprid housed significantly more E. buxi and sustained more discoloration than untreated boxwoods. Moreover, there was a direct relationship between the abundance of E. buxi and the amount of associated injury. Arborists and landscape managers should be aware of the potential for elevated abundance of spider mites on boxwoods and greater levels of discoloration following applications of imidacloprid.

Keywords: Buxus spp.; Eurytetranychus buxi; Imidacloprid; Injury; Monarthropalpus flavus; Secondary Pest Outbreak.

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