Areawide pest management involves the uniform application of a pest control strategy over wide geographic areas. Therefore, these programs are likely to impose intense selective pressures, and the risk for resistance development among pest species for which areawide management programs are implemented is likely to be high. Pilot studies for areawide management of western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, were conducted from 1996 to 2002 at four different sites across the Corn Belt. This program used cucurbitacin baits to deliver high doses of a traditional neurotoxic insecticide (carbaryl) to individual insects while reducing the overall rate of insecticide use. Because of the concern and potential for resistance evolution, annual assessments of susceptibility to the active ingredient carbaryl were conducted both within the managed area as well as from untreated control areas. Significantly reduced susceptibility to carbaryl based on survival at a diagnostic concentration was detected in three of the four management sites (Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois/Indiana), whereas susceptibility of beetles collected outside the managed areas remained unchanged. Additionally, significantly reduced responsiveness to cucurbitacin baits was observed in beetles collected from the managed area relative to the control area at the same three sites. These results suggest strongly that areawide management has the potential to select for resistance and that a strategy for managing resistance and reducing selective pressure should be proactively implemented.
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Vol. 97 • No. 5