Multiple acaricide resistance in Tetranychus urticae continues to threaten crop production globally, justifying the need to adequately study resistance for sustainable pest management. Most studies on acaricide resistance have focused on the acute contact toxicity of acaricides with little or no information on the behavioral responses elicited after acaricide exposure. Furthermore, the impact of physiological resistance on these behavioral responses remains unknown in most pest species, including T. urticae. We tested the effect of acaricide resistance on contact toxicity, irritancy and repellency of mitochondrial electron transport inhibitor of complex I (MET-I) and mite growth inhibitor (MGI) acaricides on multiple T. urticae strains. We also tested whether acaricides with similar physiological target site/mode of action also elicit similar behavioral effects on T. urticae strains. MET-I acaricides (fenazaquin, fenpyroximate, and pyrabiden) and MGIs (clofentezine, hexythiazox and etoxazole) elicited a dose-dependent irritant and repellent effect on T. urticae. Selection of strains for physiological resistance to these acaricides affected the behavioral response of T. urticae, especially in MET-I resistant strains, that showed reduced irritancy and repellency to MET-I acaricides. Behavioral response also affected the oviposition of T. urticae, where strains generally showed preferential oviposition away from the acaricides. The outcome of this study highlights negative consequences of acaricide resistance that can potentially affect T. urticae management.
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