Research Station Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil, CH-1260-Nyon 1

Influence of insecticides on beneficial arthropods in cereals and potatoes

The Swiss program on ecological production restricts the range of insecticides approved for pest control to those with relatively little impact on beneficial arthropods. With the arrival of new crop protection products over the last few years, a re-evaluation of the toxicity of insecticides has been requested by both the official authorities and farmers. The present study used data from the scientific literature to rank several insecticides based on their side effects on selected groups of beneficial insects: Coccinellidae, Chrysopidae, Syrphidae and parasitic wasps. In a second step, different plant protection scenarios, including the use of insecticides and fungicides, were evaluated for their impact on beneficial insects. The scenarios focused on the control of the cereal leaf beetle in wheat as well as the control of Colorado beetle and aphids in potato. The results showed that certain scenarios and especially certain active substances will likely have adverse effects on the beneficial fauna. Furthermore, some fungicides may also have a negative impact on beneficials if applied repeatedly. All available data on non-target effects was obtained in laboratory or semi-field experiments. Validation under the field conditions would be very valuable.

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