Impact of precipitation on the performance of insecticides in blueberries
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Impact of Precipitation on the Performance of Insecticides in Blueberries. John Wise, PhD MSU Department of Entomology Trevor Nichols Research Center. Factors that Influence Pesticide Wash-off. Rainfall Characteristics Penetrative & Translocative Properties of the Compound

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Impact of Precipitation on the Performance of Insecticides in Blueberries

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Impact of precipitation on the performance of insecticides in blueberries

Impact of Precipitation on the Performance of Insecticides in Blueberries

John Wise, PhD

MSU Department of Entomology

Trevor Nichols Research Center


Factors that influence pesticide wash off

Factors that Influence Pesticide Wash-off

  • Rainfall Characteristics

    • Penetrative & Translocative Properties of the Compound

    • Insecticide Inherent Toxicity and Application Rate

    • Drying time, Persistence, and Additives

(image by Marlene Cameron)


Impact of precipitation on the performance of insecticides in blueberries

Translocation and systemic mobility:

Translaminar -penetration of a foliar applied pesticide from the adaxial cuticular surface of the leaf, through the epidermis layer and distributing into the mesophyll on the abaxial side.

Acropetal - horizontal mobility in the plant xylem from central leaf tissue to the marginal ends.

Basipetal - movement of the insecticide within the phloem from the site of application in the downward direction.


Impact of precipitation on the performance of insecticides in blueberries

Insecticide Penetration in Fruits

Penetration of the fruit cuticle follows the same process as described for leaves, but desorption into the epidermal cells of the hypanthium follows a simple diffusion process.


Physical and chemical properties of insecticides

Physical and Chemical Properties of Insecticides


Insecticides tested

Insecticides tested


Blueberry results for japanese beetle imidan

Blueberry Results for Japanese Beetle - Imidan


Blueberry results for japanese beetle sevin

Blueberry Results for Japanese Beetle – Sevin


Blueberry results for jap beetle mustang max

Blueberry Results for Jap Beetle – Mustang Max


Blueberry results for jap beetle provado admire

Blueberry Results for Jap Beetle – Provado / Admire


Blueberry results intrepid

Blueberry Results – Intrepid


Blueberry results delegate

Blueberry Results – Delegate


Blueberry results altacor

Blueberry Results – Altacor


Insecticide comparison effect of rain

Insecticide comparison – effect of rain

Bushes were protected from rain or had 0.81 inches of rain 24 hours after application.

Protected from all other rainfall over 7 days.

Isaacs et al. 2012


Rainfastness rating chart general characteristics for insecticide chemical classes

Rainfastness Rating ChartGeneral Characteristics for Insecticide Chemical Classes

  • H – highly rainfast (≤30% loss), M – moderate (≤50% loss), L – low (≤70% loss), S-systemic residues

  • Michigan Fruit Management Guide E154 http://bookstore.msue.msu.edu/


Impact of precipitation on the performance of insecticides in blueberries

Blueberry Insecticide Precipitation Wash-offRe-application Decision Chart:Expected cranberry fruitworm control in blueberries, based on each compound’s inherent toxicity to CBFW larvae, maximum residual, and wash-off potential from rainfall.

* Number of days after insecticide application that the precipitation event occurred.

X – Insufficient insecticide residue remains, thus re-application is recommended.


Impact of precipitation on the performance of insecticides in blueberries

Blueberry Insecticide Precipitation Wash-offRe-application Decision Chart:Expected Japanese beetle control in blueberries, based on each compound’s inherent toxicity to JB adults, maximum residual, and wash-off potential from rainfall.

* Number of days after insecticide application that the precipitation event occurred.

X – Insufficient insecticide residue remains, thus re-application is recommended.


Residue wash off profiles for imidan

(2 h drying)

(24 h drying)

Residue Wash-off Profiles for Imidan


Residue wash off profiles for assail

Residue Wash-off Profiles for Assail

(2 h drying)

(24 h drying)


Impact of adjuvants on imidan rainfastness

Impact of Adjuvants on Imidan Rainfastness


Implications for insecticide performance

Implications for Insecticide Performance

  • Most compounds maintain good activity with up to 0.5 inch simulated rainfall (24 h drying), showing little need to immediately re-apply. Short-lived materials may require re-application when 0.5 in of rain occurs after 7 days of field aging.

  • Organophosphate insecticides appear to be most susceptible to wash-off, but high toxicity to the pest may compensate for residue loss.

  • Carbamate and pyrethroid insecticides are low-moderately susceptible to wash-off, and are generally short-lived, but in some cases inherent toxicity compensates for loss.

  • Neonicotinoid surface residues are susceptible to wash-off, but sub-surface residues remain stable. Longer drying periods before rainfall will allow maximum plant penetration and improve rainfastness.

  • IGR compound rainfastness is moderate to high up to 1 in rain.

  • The performance of Spinosyn and Diamide compounds appear to be the least affected by precipitation, with rainfastness ranging from moderate to high up to 1 inch of rainfall.

  • Adjuvants can improve pesticide deposition and rainfastness.


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