Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Pest Management Science 76 (2020), pp 827–833.

DOI 10.1002/ps.5586


Copyright © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry, www.soci.org. Published by Wiley. Used by permission.


Background: Field-evolved pyrethroid resistance has been confirmed in western corn rootworm (WCR) populations collected from the United States (US) western Corn Belt. Resistance levels of WCR adults estimated in lab bioassays were confirmed to significantly reduce the efficacy of foliar-applied bifenthrin. The objective of the present study was to investigate the impact of WCR pyrethroid resistance levels on the performance of common soil-applied insecticide formulations (23.4% tefluthrin, 17.15% bifenthrin, and 0.1% cyfluthrin+2.0% tebupirimphos). Field trials were conducted in 2016 and 2017 in three Nebraska, US, counties (Saunders, Clay, and Keith) where distinct levels of WCR susceptibility topyrethroids (susceptible, moderately resistant, and highly resistant) had been previously reported in adult and larval bioassays.

Results: All soil insecticide treatments effectively protected maize roots from a pyrethroid-susceptible WCR population at Saunders. In contrast, the efficacy of bifenthrin and tefluthrin soil insecticides was significantly reduced at Clay and Keith, where pyrethroid-resistant WCR populations were reported. At Keith, where an additional failure of the cyfluthrin+tebupirimphos soil insecticide was observed, WCR laboratory dose–response bioassays showed a consistent ∼5-fold resistance level to the active ingredients bifenthrin, tefluthrin, and cyfluthrin.

Conclusion: The efficacy of common soil insecticides used in the US for WCR management was significantly reduced in populations exhibiting relatively low levels of WCR pyrethroid resistance. Using a multitactical approach to manage WCR within an integrated pest management framework may mitigate resistance evolution and prolong the usefulness of WCR insecticides within the system.