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Improved efficacy testing procedures for non-indigenous invertebrates leading to more rapid and reliable action ... - PH0172

Eradication campaigns for quarantine pests have in the past relied heavily on chemical pesticides. The limited range of approved products available for many crops, coupled with the development of resistance by many insects, has resulted in the need for rapid and accurate efficacy testing techniques to enable selection of the most appropriate product for each outbreak situation. Current techniques are well established, but require large samples of the appropriate life stage and do not take advantage of recent advances in equipment manufacture. This project aims to improve the speed and reliability of testing procedures for establishing the susceptibility of outbreak populations of quarantine pests to chemical pesticides by using species of current quarantine concern to investigate and optimise the use of new laboratory equipment (booth sprayer) that simulates field pesticide applications. Standard dip testing methods will be compared with booth sprayer application of sprays of a realistic droplet size and application rate. Techniques originally developed to field test fumigants will also be investigated in the laboratory for use in efficacy testing of both space treatment and aerosol formulations and, if necessary, modified for use with quarantine pests. Promising treatments will be tested in semi-field or field scale tests, and guidelines provided to PHD/PHSI on the operation of successful techniques.

UPDATE: October 03 - efficacy testing work halted to accommodate some short term work on Diabrotica under remaining funds (£17596) as requested by Stephen Hunter.
Mar 03 - project extended to 31 October 2004 to resume original workplan with additional funding of £19716. This includes an additional £2100 to cover the time required to expand insect cultures to provide sufficient insects for experimental purposes and also to compensate for an additional efficacy test required in support of an outbreak of L. huidobrensis.


To improve the speed (reducing the average delay before results are delivered by 25% e.g. from 4 to 3 days) and reliability of testing procedures for establishing the susceptibility of outbreak populations of quarantine pests to chemical insecticides.

1. Liriomyza huidobrensis, Frankliniella occidentalis and one other model species (selected from Spodoptera sp., Helicoverpa sp., or another species depending on availability from commercial outbreaks) will be used for investigations to enable routine efficacy testing to be automatically incorporated into the research schedule at no extra cost.

2. Use the selected pests to investigate and optimise the potential of booth sprayers that accurately simulate foliar pesticide applications, avoiding the need for less realistic bioassays.

3. Establish the efficacy of tent fumigation equipment for testing aerosol formulations and space treatments, in comparison with current techniques.

4. Develop robust statistical techniques to ensure that the anticipated reduction of sample sizes used in these tests does not effect the quality of results.

5. Conduct semi-field (small scale glasshouse) and field (commercial glasshouse) trials to compare the accuracy of efficacy predictions made using the new equipment/techniques and conventional approaches, and further develop the new methods as appropriate.

6. Use the existing close contact with PHD/PHSI to identify appropriate and effective technology transfer methods, including the development of an active ingredient/pest matrix or database to increase accessibility of the results obtained from both the research and future testing activities.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Final Report for PH0172   (542k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2005

Cost: £167,361
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Alien Species              
Pest Control              
Plant health              
Plant Pests and Diseases              
Plants and Animals              
Technology Transfer              
Fields of Study
Plant Health