The striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittatum (F.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), is a key pest of cucurbit crops throughout its range. A novel precision band applicator was designed to inject a solid stream of imidacloprid solution in-furrow directly over the seed during planting to reduce beetle leaf feeding on pumpkin, zucchini, and cucumber crops. In 2004 and 2005, bioassays at the cotyledon through fifth leaf were conducted on striped cucumber beetles using seedling leaf tissue grown from seeds treated using both continuous and precision banded in-furrow imidacloprid solution applications. In 2004, 80% of bioassay trials had treatments with beetle mortality significantly higher than the check, whereas 70% of the bioassay trials showed no significant difference in mortality between continuous in-furrow and precision banded treatments. In 2005, 79% of bioassay trials had treatments with beetle mortality significantly higher than the check, whereas 100% of the bioassays showed no significant difference in beetle mortality between continuous in-furrow and precision banded treatments at the same insecticide rate. The environmental savings of precision banded treatments compared with continuous in-furrow treatment reduced imidacloprid up to 84.5% on a per hectare basis for all cucurbits tested in 2004 and 2005, translating into an economic savings up to $215/ha. In separate bioassay trials conducted in 2005 on pumpkin, where insecticide band length and injection volume were manipulated independently, several treatments had significantly higher beetle mortality than the check. There was a trend of increased beetle mortality in treatments using shorter band lengths combined with higher insecticide solution volumes.
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Vol. 102 • No. 6