Mar 13, 2017

Crop Protection WCRC Croprotection-NorthAmerica WCRC1
Abstract                                                                         Back to Table of contents

Management of insect pests is required for successful cotton production in most of the world's cotton producing areas.  For many years insecticides have played the primary role in management programs.  The occurrence of resistance is now limiting their effectiveness.  In this presentation we will review the major mechanisms of insect resistance to insecticides and describe the principles determining which mechanisms of resistance are likely to occur in various insect pests.  In addition we report on which resistance mechanisms are likely to occur with each of the different types of conventional insecticides.

Resistance monitoring techniques and restricted insecticide use strategies have become major components of successful resistance management programs.  New strategies involving use of Bacillus thuringiensis and other less toxic chemicals as pest management agents are being developed.  Future successful pest management programs may involve primary reliance on Bacillus thuringiensis as an insect growth regulator with conventional insecticides as important, but secondary components.


  1. The development of restricted insecticide use strategies in conjunction with resistance monitoring has greatly extended the useful life of pyrethroid insecticides in cotton production.

  2. Occasional failures in the strategy might have resulted from the use of highly toxic pure isomer pyrethroids in place of mixed isomer pyrethroids rather than from inadequacies in the strategy.

  3. A strategy based on the use of a low dose mixture of insecticides may be an effective way to continue insecticide use and lessen selection for resistance.

  4. Alternate strategies based on the use of noninsecticidal controls such as Bacillus thuringiensis, juvenile hormone analogs and crop oils may significantly reduce the need to control cotton insect pests with insecticides in the future.

  5. The cotton ecosystem normally contains beneficial insect predators and parasites in numbers that frequently provide partial to satisfactory pest control. The use of soft strategies which maximize the effectiveness of beneficials seems to be the most effective way to manage insect pest populations in cotton.

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