Spinosad Application Prevents Damage by Agriotes spp. Larvae (Wireworms) and Protects Maize (Zea mays) Yield in Northeast Italy

Fernando Rodrigo de Oliveira Cantao, Giovanni Mian


Agriotes spp. larvae, commonly known as wireworms, are major pests that cause great economic damage to many European crops. To combat them, most farmers prophylactically apply soil insecticides, including high-impact ones such as neonicotinoids. However, due to their hidden life cycle below ground, wireworms are difficult to control, especially in organic farming where persistent, non-specific soil insecticides cannot be used. As legislation tightens regulation on chemical insecticides that have harmful effects on humans and the environment (such as the withdrawal of many chemicals and the general limitation of all of them), biological control agents are gaining attention as an alternative strategy. The aim of this study was to investigate the agronomic effectiveness of Spinosad, a bioinsecticide, in row application during planting to manage wireworms in maize (Zea mays) in Northern Italy. Based on the performance of Spinosad, even in harsh conditions as observed throughout this study, and its ability to mitigate yield losses compared to the non-treated control, we conclude that this product can be used as part of an Integrated Pest Management to mitigate the damages caused by this pest in organic agriculture. However, further studies are required to better understand how this bioinsecticide can be integrated into Agriotes spp management to reduce economic losses and have a positive impact on the environment and public health


Biocontrol; Wireworms; Zea mays; IPM; Agriotes spp.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33804/pp.007.01.4549


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