University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #ENY-466

Insect Management for Okra1

S. E. Webb2

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentum) is a warm weather crop grown in the summer throughout Florida, but commercial production is concentrated in south Florida where it can be grown most of the year. It is often grown as a second crop after more valuable vegetables. Historically, relatively few insecticides and miticides have been registered for use on okra making it difficult to manage insect and mites effectively. Recently, okra has been added to the Fruiting Vegetables Crop Group (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant), and there are now many more options for pest control. Arthropod pests of okra include caterpillars (larvae of Lepidoptera), aphids, thrips, whiteflies, and mites.

Leaf-feeding caterpillar pests (lepidopteran larvae) that attack okra include beet, southern, and fall armyworm, cabbage looper, and corn earworm. Cabbage looper and corn earworm can also bore into pods. Scouting for these pests is essential because some of the pesticides available (Bacillus thuringiensis products, spinosad, and methoxyfenozide) are most effective on young caterpillars and are less effective on later stages that can defoliate plants. Melon aphid, green peach aphid, and silverleaf whitefly can be very damaging. Imidacloprid will control these sucking insects but effects of a soil application will wear off before the end of the growing season. Melon thrips and southern green stink bug can also cause serious damage and growers have very limited options for control at this time. Spinosad is effective for reducing thrips populations but overuse could lead to the development of resistance and loss of control. There are now six products available for mite control. Products containing neem or azadirachtin can be used for all pests of okra but are generally only moderately effective.

Because of limited options for chemical control of insects, conservation of natural enemies is important and possible. As with all crops, destruction of the crop after harvest can help reduce pest populations. The practice of prolonging production by topping plants may contribute to pest problems even though it reduces the cost of production.

Tables

Table 1. 

Selected insecticides approved for use on insects attacking okra.

Trade Name (Common Name)

Rate (Product/acre)

REI (hours)

Days to Harvest

Insects

MOA Code1

Notes

Acramite-50WS

(bifenazate)

0.75-1.0 lb

12

3

twospotted spider mite

un

One application per season.

Admire Pro

(imidacloprid)

7-14 fl oz

12

21

aphids, flea beetles, leafhoppers, foliage feeding thrips, whiteflies

4A

No more than 14 oz per acre.

*Asana XL (0.66 EC)

(esfenvalerate)

5.8-9.6 fl oz

12

1

cabbage looper, corn earworm, southern armyworm

3A

Florida only.

Avaunt

(indoxacarb

2.5-3.5 oz

12

3

beet armyworm, hornworms, loopers, southern armyworm, tomato fruitworm

22

Maximum = 14 oz/acre per crop.

Aza-Direct

(azadirachtin)

1-2 pts, up to 3.5 pts, if needed

4

0

aphids, beetles, caterpillars, leafhoppers, leafminers, mites, stink bugs, thrips, weevils, whiteflies

un

Antifeedant, repellant, insect growth regulator. OMRI-listed2.

Azatin XL

(azadirachtin)

5-21 fl oz

4

0

aphids, beetles, caterpillars, leafhoppers, leafminers, mites, stink bugs, thrips, weevils, whiteflies

un

Antifeedant, repellant, insect growth regulator.

Beleaf 50SG

(flonicamid)

2.0-2.8 oz

12

0

aphids, plant bugs

9C

Do not apply more than 8.4 oz/acre per season.

Belt SC

(flubendiamide)

1.5 fl oz

12

1

armyworms,cutworms, hornworms, loopers, tomato fruitworm

28

Do not apply more than 4.5 fl oz/acre per season.

*Brigade 2EC

(bifenthrin)

2.1-6.4 fl oz

12

7

aphids, armyworms, corn earworm, cucumber beetles, cutworms, flea beetles, leafminers, loopers, mites (broad, carmine, twospotted), stink bugs, thrips, whitefly

3A

Do not apply more than 0.2 lb ai/acre per season.

BotaniGard 22 WP, ES

(Beauveria bassiana)

WP: 0.5-2.0 lb/100 gal

ES: 0.5-2 qt/100 gal

4

0

aphids, thrips, whiteflies

--

May be used in greenhouses. Contact dealer for recommendations if an adjuvant must be used. Not compatible in tank mix with fungicides.

*Capture LFR

(bifenthrin)

3.4-6.8 fl oz

12

at planting

cutworms, flea beetle larvae, wireworms

3A

For mixing with liquid fertilizer and applied to soil at planting.

Coragen

(rynaxypyr)

3.5-7.5 fl oz

4

1

armyworms, corn earworm, loopers, tomato fruitworm, garden webworm

28

Can be applied by drip chemigation or as a soil application at planting as well as a foliar spray. See label. For hornworms, can use as little as 2.0 fl oz/acre when applied as a foliar spray. Make no more than 4 applications per crop.

Courier 40SC

(buprofezin)

9.0-13.6 fl oz

12

1

immature stages of leafhoppers, mealybugs, planthoppers, whiteflies

16

Make no more than 2 applications per crop cycle.

Crymax WDG

(Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki)

0.5-2.0 lb

4

0

caterpillars

11A

Use high rate for armyworms. Treat when larvae are young.

Deliver

(Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki)

0.25-1.5 lb

4

0

caterpillars

11A

Use higher rates for armyworms. OMRI-listed2.

Entrust SC

(spinosad)

1.5-10 fl oz

4

1

armyworms, flower thrips, leafminers, loopers, other caterpillars, Thrips palmi, tomato fruitworm

5

Do not apply more than 29 oz per acre per crop. OMRI-listed2.

Esteem Ant Bait

(pyriproxyfen)

1.5-2.0 lb

12

1

red imported fire ant

7C

Apply when ants are actively foraging.

Extinguish

((S)-methoprene)

1.0-1.5 lb

4

0

fire ants

7A

Slow‑acting IGR (insect growth regulator). Best applied early spring and fall where crop will be grown. Colonies will be reduced after three weeks and eliminated after 8 to 10 weeks. May be applied by ground equipment or aerially.

Grandevo

1-3 lb

4

0

armyworms, hornworms, loopers, saltmarsh caterpillar, tomato fruitworm, tomato pinworm, varigated cutworm

Can be used in organic production. OMRI-listed2.

Chromobacterium subtsugae strain PRAA4-1

Intrepid 2F

(methoxyfenozide)

4-16 fl oz

4

1

beet armyworm, cabbage looper, fall armyworm, hornworms, southern armyworm, true armyworm, yellowstriped armyworm

18

Do not apply more than 64 fl oz per acre per season.

Javelin WG

(Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki)

0.12-1.50 lb

4

1

most caterpillars, but not Spodoptera species (armyworms)

11

Treat when larvae are young. Thorough coverage is essential OMRI-listed2.

JMS Stylet-Oil

(oil, insecticidal)

3-6 qts/100 gal

4

0

leafminers, mites, whiteflies

--

See label for tank mix cautions. Organic Stylet-Oil is OMRI-listed2.

Kanemite 15 SC

(acequinocyl)

31 fl oz

12

7

broad mite, twospotted spider mite

20B

Two applications per year, at least 21 days apart.

Knack IGR

(pyriproxyfen)

8-10 fl oz

12

1

whiteflies (immatures)

7C

Do not make more than 2 applications per season.

Malathion 8F

(malathion)

1.2

12

1

aphids

1B

Maximum of 5 applications per year.

Movento

(spirotetramat)

4-5 fl oz

24

1

aphids, whiteflies

23

Do not apply more than 10 fl oz per acre per season.

*Mustang

(zeta‑cypermeth

2.4-4.3 oz

12

1

brown stink bugs, cabbage looper, cutworms, fall armyworm, flea beetles, grasshoppers, green stink bugs, hornworms, leafhoppers, plant bugs, southern armyworm, tomato fruitworm, tomato pinworm, true armyworm, yellowstriped armyworm

3

Do not make applications less than 7 days apart. Do not apply more than 0.3 lb ai/acre per season.

Neemix 4.5

(azadirachtin)

4-16 fl oz

12

0

aphids, armyworms, leafhoppers, leafminers, loopers, whiteflies

un

IGR and feeding repellant. OMRI-listed2.

Portal

(fenpyroximate)

2 pt

12

1

mites, including broad mites

21A

Do not make more than two applications per season.

Provado 1.6F

(imidacloprid)

3.8-6.2 fl oz

12

0

aphids, leafhoppers, whiteflies

4A

Do not apply more than 19.2 oz per acre per year.

Pyganic Crop Protection EC 5.0

(pyrethrins)

4.5-18 fl oz

12

0

Aphids, beetles, caterpillars, crickets, grasshoppers, mites, stink bugs, whiteflies, thrips, others

3

OMRI-listed2

Radiant SC

(spinetoram)

5-10 fl oz

4

1

armyworms, dipterous leafminers, hornworms, loopers, thrips, tomato fruitworm

5

Control of leafminers and thrips may be improved with an adjuvant.

Requiem 25EC

(Chenopodium ambrosioides)

2.0-4.0 qt

4

0

thrips, whiteflies

--

Apply before pests reach damaging levels.

Sevin XLR, 4F, 80S

(carbaryl)

XLR, 4E: 1-1.5 qt

80S: 1.25-1.88 lb

12

3

corn earworm, stink bugs

1A

Do not apply more than a total of 6 qt or 7.5 lb per acre per season.

Trilogy

(extract of neem oil)

0.5-2.0% V/V

4

0

aphids, mites, suppression of thrips and whiteflies

18B

Apply morning or evening to reduce potential for leaf burn. Toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment.

OMRI-listed2.

Vetica

(flubendiamide and buprofezin)

12.0-17.0 fl oz

12

1

armyworms, cabbage looper, cutworms, garden webworm, leafhoppers and mealybugs, saltmarsh caterpillar, tobacco budworm, tomato hornworm, tomato fruitworm, tomato pinworm, whiteflies

28, 16

Do not apply more than 3 times per season or apply more than 38 fl oz per acre per season. Use high rate for whiteflies and leafhoppers.

Zeal Miticide

(etoxazole)

2-3 oz

12

7

twospotted spider mite

10B

Do not make more than one application per season. Do not use with an adjuvant or surfactant.

The pesticide information presented in this table was current with federal and state regulations at the time of revision. The user is responsible for determining the intended use is consistent with the label of the product being used. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow label instructions.

1Mode of Action codes for vegetable pest insecticides from the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) Mode of Action Classification v.7.2 February 2012. http://www.irac-online.org/wp-content/uploads/MoA-classification.pdf

1A. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, Carbamates (nerve action)

1B. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, Organophosphates (nerve action)

2A. GABA-gated chloride channel antagonists (nerve action)

3A. Sodium channel modulators—pyrethroids

4A. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists (nerve action)

5. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor allosteric activators—spinosins (nerve action)

6. Chloride channel activators (nerve and muscle action)

7A. Juvenile hormone mimics (growth regulation)

7C. Juvenile hormone mimics (growth regulation)

9B & 9C. Selective homopteran feeding blockers

10B. Mite growth inhibitors (growth regulation)

11A. Microbial disruptors of insect midgut membranes

12B. Inhibitors of mitochondrial ATP synthase (energy metabolism)

15. Inhibitors of chitin biosynthesis, type 0, lepidopteran (growth regulation)

16. Inhibitors of chitin biosynthesis, type 1, homopteran (growth regulation)

17. Molting disruptor, dipteran (growth regulation)

18. Ecdysone receptor agonists (growth regulation)

20B. Mitochondrial complex III electron transport inhibitors (energy metabolism)

21A. Mitochondrial complex I electron transport inhibitors (energy metabolism)

22. Voltage-dependent sodium channel blockers (nerve action)

23. Inhibitors of acetyl Co-A carboxylase (lipid synthesis, growth regulation)

28. Ryanodine receptor modulators (nerve and muscle action)

un. Compounds of unknown or uncertain mode of action

2OMRI listed: Listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute for use in organic production.

*Restricted Use Only.

Footnotes

1.

This document is ENY-466 (IG152), one of a series of the Entomology & Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Published July 2002. Revised February 2010 and June 2013. For more publications related to horticulture/agriculture, please visit the EDIS Wwebsite at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/.

2.

S. E. Webb, associate professor, Entomology and Nematology Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0640.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication does not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. All chemicals should be used in accordance with directions on the manufacturer's label. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.