Agriculture: Avocado Pest Management Guidelines

Relative Toxicities of Insecticides, Miticides, and Molluscicides Used in Avocados to Natural Enemies and Honey Bees

Common name (Example trade name) Mode of action1 Selectivity2 (affected groups) Predatory mites3 General predators4 Parasites4 Honey bees5 Duration of impact to natural enemies6
abamectin (Agri-Mek) 6 moderate (mites, thrips) M M7 M/H I moderate to predatory mites and long to affected insects
Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. aizawai 11A narrow (caterpillars) L L L II none
Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. kurstaki 11A narrow (caterpillars) L L L III none
boric acid bait (Gourmet) 8D narrow (ants) L L L III none
copper sulfate (Bordeaux mixture) trunk spray narrow (snails) L L7 L II long as a barrier
etoxazole (Zeal) 10B narrow (mites) H11 L II short
fenpropathrin (Danitol) 3A broad (insects, mites) H H H I
imidacloprid (Admire) 4A narrow (sucking insects) L L I long
iron phosphate (Sluggo) narrow (snails and slugs) L H7 L III short
malathion 1B broad (insects, mites) H H H I moderate
oil, narrow-range broad (exposed insects, mites) L L L II short
pyrethrin (PyGanic) 3A moderate (insects) M M I short
pyrethrin/piperonyl butoxide (Pyrenone) 3A/— moderate (insects) M M I short
pyriproxyfen (Esteem) 7C broad (aphids, caterpillars, flies, leafminers, scale, whiteflies) L H10 L II long
sabadilla (Veratran-D) narrow (feeding thrips) L L L II short
spinetoram (Delegate) 5 narrow (caterpillars, aphids, thrips) M M8 L/M II moderate9
spinosad (Success, Entrust) 5 narrow (caterpillars, aphids, thrips) M M8 L/M II moderate8
spirodiclofen (Envidor) 23 narrow (mites) L II
spirotetramat (Movento) 23 narrow (aphids, scale, psyllids, whiteflies) L L L II short
sulfur un narrow (mites) L/H L H III moderate
thiamethoxam (Actara - foliar) 4A narrow (sucking insects) 12 M/H M/H I moderate
H = high     M = moderate     L = low     — = no information
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action group number more than twice per season to help prevent development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a group number other than 1B. Mode-of-action group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee).
2 Selectivity: Broad means it affects most groups of insects and mites; narrow means it affects only a few specific groups.
3 Generally, toxicities are to western predatory mite, Galendromus occidentalis. Where differences have been measured in toxicity of the pesticide resistant strain versus the native strain, these are listed as pesticide-resistant strain/native strain.
4 Toxicities are averages of reported effects and should be used only as a general guide. Actual toxicity of a specific chemical depends on the species of predator or parasite, environmental conditions, and application rate.
5 Ratings are as follows: I–Do not apply or allow to drift to plants that are flowering including weeds . Do not allow pesticide to contaminate water accessible to bees including puddles. II–Do not apply or allow to drift to plants that are flowering including weeds, except when the application is made between sunset and midnight if allowed by the pesticide label and regulations. Do not allow pesticide to contaminate water accessible to bees including puddles. III–No bee precaution, except when required by the pesticide label or regulations. For more information, see Bee precaution pesticide ratings .
6 Duration: Short means hours to days; moderate means days to 2 weeks; and long means many weeks or months.
7 Toxic to predatory decollate snail.
8 Toxic against some natural enemies (predatory thrips, syrphid fly and lacewing larvae, beetles) when sprayed and up to 5 to 7 days after, especially for syrphid fly larvae.
9 Residual is moderate if solution is between pH of 7 to 8.
10 Kills lady beetles.
11 Does not kill adults but sterilizes females
12 May cause increase in spider mite populations.

Acknowledgments: This table was compiled based on research data and experience of University of California scientists who work on a variety of crops and contribute to the Pest Management Guideline database, and from Flint, M. L. and S. H. Dreistadt. 1998. Natural Enemies Handbook: An Illustrated Guide to Biological Pest Control, ANR Publication 3386.

Text Updated: 09/16