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R465 Insecticide Resistance Strategy

Publication Date: 
4 February 2013
Author/Contact :
Neil Paveley

Contractor :

Full Research Project Title: Combating insecticide resistance in major UK pests
Duration: January 2013 - December 2015

Industry Challenge

Despite considerable efforts to diversify pest control by alternative methods, insecticides remain key tools for insect management in many crops.  However, efficacy is threatened by insecticide resistance.  There has been rapid progress in techniques to diagnose insecticide resistance and several (Defra-CRD and levy funded) projects monitor resistance in various pest species.  Several limitations hinder the translation into practical guidance to constrain resistance: Firstly, monitoring provides information on the incidence and dynamics of resistant pests, but does not directly provide guidance on anti-resistance strategies. Secondly, anti-resistance measures need to be proportionate to the risk of resistance.  However, assessment of risk is still fraught with uncertainties. Finally, there is only fragmentary evidence supporting the choice of anti-resistance strategies from only a few key pest species


ADAS, HDC, HGCA and Rothamsted 


This project will develop resistance risk assessment methods and anti-resistance strategies for each insect-insecticide combination of key concern to levy payers:

AHDB Potatoes: Peach-potato aphid and potato aphid in seed and ware potatoes.

HGCA: Pollen beetle and peach-potato aphid in oilseed rape; wheat bulb fly and aphids in cereals.

HDC: Peach-potato aphid, western flower thrips, diamondback moth and South American leaf miner as well as mite pests e.g. two-spotted spider mite. 


a)  Compare the net benefit of different insecticide resistance management strategies for insects with contrasting life-histories and damage implications. b) Develop a method to assess insecticide resistance risk based on objective and measurable criteria.  This will involve construction of a database of insecticide resistance cases together with a quantification of those characteristics (traits) of the (i) pest species, (ii) insecticide, and (iii) agronomic system, which are likely to determine the risk of resistance.  This will generate and test a method to predict the risk of resistance development that is validated using past case-histories.c)Transfer the new knowledge of anti-resistance strategies and risk assessment to the relevant end user communities.

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