, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 1240–1249 | Cite as

Assessing the combined toxicity of conventional and newer insecticides on the cotton mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis

  • Bushra Saddiq
  • Masood EjazEmail author
  • Sarfraz Ali ShadEmail author
  • Muhammad Aslam


Reduced susceptibility to insecticides often results in failure of insect pest control and repetitive use of broad-spectrum insecticides, which could have detrimental effects on beneficial arthropods and surrounding agro-ecosystems. The cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley is a pest of worldwide importance that can be effectively controlled using a number of insecticides. This insect has developed resistance due to injudicious use and repeated exposure to insecticides throughout the year. The aim of the present study was to investigate the toxicity of the insecticides chlorpyrifos, deltamethrin, spinosad, emamectin benzoate and indoxacarb tested either singly or in combination on laboratory susceptible (Lab-PK) and field population (Field Pop) of P. solenopsis. In the Field Pop, combination of chlorpyrifos with either spinosad or emamectin benzoate or indoxacarb showed a synergistic effect at 1:1, 1:10 and 1:20. The combination of deltamethrin with either emamectin benzoate or indoxacarb at all ratios showed synergistic effect, while the combination of deltamethrin with spinosad at 1:1 and 1:20 ratios showed antagonistic effects and that at 1:10 ratio showed synergistic effect against Field Pop. The results of synergism experiments using piperonyl butoxide (PBO) and S,S,S-tributylphosphorotrithioate (DEF) enzyme inhibitors, when combined with insecticides against the Field Pop, toxicities of all tested insecticides were significantly increased. The present study suggests that insecticide combinations and synergism could help achieve effective control of less susceptible populations of P. solenopsis. This would contribute to suitably managing resistance of this pest to insecticides with reduced negative impacts on the surrounding environment.


Enzyme inhibitors Synergism Insecticide resistance Combinations Ecotoxicology 



We are grateful to Dr. Whitworth Robert J. (Jeff), Associate Professor, Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, USA for sparing his precious time to check manuscript for improvement of English grammar and sense.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

The present work does not involve any human participant and/or animals.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, The Islamia University of BahawalpurBahawalpurPakistan
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyFaculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan

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