Enhancement of insecticides against codling moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) with L-aspartate in laboratory and field experiments


The idea of enhancing insecticide efficacy against phytophagous insects with feeding stimulators was proposed as early as the 1960s, and a number of insect feeding stimulators based on sugars, molasses, and cottonseed extracts, biologically active at relatively high (5% and higher) concentrations, have been advocated. Here, we show that an acidic amino acid, l-aspartate, stimulates feeding in codling moth neonates at much lower concentrations and acts as an effective tank-mixed additive for increasing efficacy of insecticides, reducing fruit damage, and increasing yield of the fruit. In laboratory experiments, 1 mg/ml l-aspartate increased foliage consumption by 40"“60% and, when added to Assail 30 SG, Baythroid XL, Delegate WG, or Carbaryl 80S, maintained its feeding stimulatory properties and reduced LD50s by ≈10 times. In a 3-yr field trial, addition of L-aspartate to the aforementioned insecticides at 395 g/ha reduced fruit damage from ≈6%, on average to <1% for first-generation codling moth, and from ≈20 to ≈5% for the second generation. Interestingly, addition of l-aspartate also increased the average weight of apples by 11"“27%, as measured at the time of harvest.


Environmental Plant Science and Natural Resources

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Journal of economic entomology