Lethal and sublethal effects of mineral oil on potato pests.

Galimberti A, Alyokhin A. J Econ Entomol. 2018;111(3):1261-1267. doi: 10.1093/jee/toy046.

Mineral oil is a product used to reduce Potato Virus Y transmission in potato fields. However, there is little information available about other effects that oil may have on insect pests of potato. To better understand how mineral oil affects potato pests, we performed a series of experiments testing the effects of oil on mortality, behavior, and development of potato aphids, Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), green peach aphids, Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and Colorado potato beetles, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). All three species showed negative behavioral responses to oil-treated potato foliage. Oil treatment also increased aphid mortality. Colorado potato beetle mortality was not affected, but developing on oil-treated potato plants resulted in prolonged development and smaller adults. Additionally, oil acted synergistically with the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae); Colorado potato beetle larvae were killed more rapidly when sprayed with both products compared with when sprayed with B. bassiana alone. Based on these results, mineral oil has the potential for expanded use in potato IPM programs.