Combi-protec® adjuvant to improve Spotted Wing Drosophila control

Combi-protec® adjuvant to improve Spotted Wing Drosophila control

Adult male Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)


Why control Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)?

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD Drosophila suzukii) is a non-native invasive fly pest, first recorded in the UK in 2012. Originally located in Kent it is now widespread across the South of England. Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) is a significant pest of a range of soft and stone fruit including strawberry, raspberry, cherry and grapes. Adult SWD flies lay their eggs within the ripening fruit and have potential to cause significant crop loss.  


Why quick action is key to successful SWD control?

A significant challenge with managing SWD is its ability to survive and reproduce on a wide range of wild plants. These are often found in the woodland and hedgerow areas surrounding a field. The pest then migrates into the crop area as the fruits are being produced. Because the SWD population is surviving in the area surrounding the field, it is females who are ready to mate or already carrying eggs which migrate into the crop. The speed at which these female SWD are controlled will affect how many eggs they are able to lay and therefore how much crop damage is caused.  


Why use combi-protec®?

combi-protec® increases the feeding of adult spotted wing drosophila (SWD, Drosophila suzukii) fruit flies. When tank mixed and co-applied with an SWD insecticide it therefore increases the rate of insecticide uptake. Increasing insecticide uptake results in faster adult SWD kill therefore giving them less time within the crop to lay eggs and cause crop damage.

Replicated cage studies have shown that time to 90% adult Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD, Drosophila suzukii) mortality of 50% spinosad + combi-protec® was 33 hours faster than 100% spinosad treatment.


Effect on mortality time of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) exposed to spinosad insecticide at full or half dose applied solo or in combination with combi-protec®


combi-protec® is available in 1 L bottles.

What is combi-protec®?

combi-protec® is a CRD approved adjuvant for use in a wide range of UK agricultural and horticultural crops. More information and how to buy can be found here (WEBLINK TO PRODUCE PAGE). comb-protec® contains feeding stimulants which increase feeding activity of adult flies such as SWD. When applied with an insecticide it increases the amount of insecticide uptake therefore increasing the speed of kill of the target insect pest.  


How to use combi-protec® with insecticides

combi-protec® is an approved adjuvant which can be applied with a range of chemical insecticides (including spinsad, cyantraniliprole and thiacloprid).  

combi-protec® is available in 5 L bottles.
  • combi-protec can be used at a rate of up to 5%
  • Authorised for use with all authorised plant protection products on all edible crops provided that the statutory conditions of use for the pesticide are followed and that the pesticide is not used at more than 50% of the maximum approved rate for that application
  • Authorised for use all authorised plant protection products on all non-edible crops provided that the statutory conditions of use for the pesticide are followed


How to use combi-protec®: Strategy 1 – Increase speed of mortality

Add combi-protec® into normal insecticide treatment program with no change to application equipment and reduce potential for egg laying by controlling the SWD adults faster.  

  • 50% reduction in insecticide application rate
  • Tank mix combi-protec® at 1 L in 500 L
  • Apply through normal equipment as full cover spray


How to use combi-protec®: Strategy 2 – Low volume application

AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) have an ongoing project to identify the potential to significantly reduce spray volume, and therefore cost of inputs. This requires modifications to application equipment and should be discussed with your agronomist.  

  • Up to 90% reduction in insecticide application rate
  • Tank mix combi-protec® at 1 L in 20-40 L
  • Adapt spray application equipment to apply 20 L/ha in coarse droplets targeted as band sprays around the fruit on the crop
  • Not suitable for tank mixing with other products requiring good coverage (e.g. fungicides)


combi-protec® application best practice

combi-protec is a highly viscous liquid (do not mix directly into spray tank) and therefore requires the following steps to be followed when handling and adding to a spray tank:  

  • Do not fill combi-protec into the sprayer without pre-mixing:
  • Half fill a bucket with warm water (dilutes best between 20°C and 40°C [bath water temperature])
  • Add combi-protec (ratio1:1), stir immediately
  • Add insecticide partner
  • Add to spray tank with remaining water
  • Spray onto dry leaves
  • Rainfastness:
  • Avoid spraying less than 24 hours before rain
  • Reduce spray interval after significant rainfall (>10 mm/day)
  • Optimal time for SWD insecticide treatment is mid-afternoon
  • Apply spray solution within 24 hours of mixing
  • Clean sprayer after using combi-protec


Benefits to the environment

Application of combi-protec® with a synthetic chemical insecticide requires the insecticide to be applied at at least 50% of the full label rate. combi-protec® therefore results in increased insect control whilst reducing the chemical loading in the environment by using half of the volume of chemical insecticide. In addition, by increasing the overall efficacy of an insecticide treatment program against key horticultural pests such as SWD, using combi-protec reduces crop loss so increasing productivity from a given area of crop.  

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