Denim insecticide from Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., recently received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for control of a broad spectrum of economically damaging lepidopteran pests in cotton, including tobacco budworm, armyworms and cotton bollworm.

“Denim provides excellent control of all worm pests, especially tobacco budworm and armyworms, and also suppresses mites with minimal impact on beneficial insects, making it an ideal fit for integrated pest management programs,” said Patrick Ewan, Syngenta crop manager.

“Denim is a low use-rate product that offers long residual control. It is a unique chemistry with no known cross-resistance, and it works through three modes of action — contact, ingestion and ovicidal-like in which larvae are controlled as they chew through egg casings.”

Denim has been used under Section 18 emergency exemptions in several states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, in the past for control of tobacco budworm and beet armyworm. Cotton researchers in Mississippi and Texas who have been evaluating Denim the past several years for lepidopteran control have reported excellent field trial results.

“Denim will control all of the caterpillar pests we have in cotton. This includes tobacco budworm and cotton bollworm, as well as armyworms and loopers,” said Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi Extension Service. “Its primary fit is for control of tobacco budworm and other caterpillar pests on non-Bt cotton and armyworms in Bt cotton, but in some trials, Denim also suppressed spider mites, which gives growers another tool in their overall cotton management program.”

Chris Sansone, entomologist with the Texas Cooperative Extension Service in San Angelo, has found Denim to perform well in controlling beet armyworm outbreaks throughout West Texas, triggered in recent years by prolonged dry weather. He also sees it fitting in a tobacco budworm management program.

“Denim has looked extremely good in our tobacco budworm trials,” Sansone said. “Because this pest is resistant to some of the more traditional insecticides used in Texas, Denim will be an excellent resistance management tool.”