Managing allium leafminer (Diptera: Agromyzidae): an emerging pest of allium crops in North America.
Allium leafminer, Phytomyza gymnostoma Loew, is the newest invasive pest of allium crops in North America. Larvae initially feed in the upper canopy before mining toward the base of the plant to pupate. Crop loss occurs when larvae destroy vascular tissue, facilitating infection by bacterial and fungal pathogens that cause rot. Contamination also occurs when larvae and pupae are present at harvest. In response to this invasion, efficacy of 14 insecticide active ingredients applied via foliar sprays, transplant treatments, and drip chemigation was evaluated for managing P. gymnostoma. Multiple field studies were conducted in onions, leeks, and scallions in Pennsylvania and New York, United States in 2018 and 2019. The highest and most consistent levels of P. gymnostoma control occurred using foliar applications of dinotefuran, cyantraniliprole and spinetoram (84-89% reduction in damage; 95% reduction in P. gymnostoma densities). Despite the success of dinotefuran and cyantraniliprole applied as foliar sprays, neither was effective in controlling P. gymnostoma when administered via drip chemigation. Other foliar-applied insecticides that significantly reduced densities of P. gymnostoma in one or two experiments included abamectin, acetamiprid, cyromazine, imidacloprid, lambda-cyhalothrin, methomyl, and spinosad. Active ingredients that never controlled P. gymnostoma included azadirachtin, kaolin clay, pyrethrin, and spirotetramat. Spinosad applied to bare-root and plug-tray transplants immediately before transplanting reduced P. gymnostoma damage in the field by >90%. Implications of using these insecticides and application strategies are discussed within the context of developing a sustainable IPM program.