Pest Management Science (2007) 63, 586-595

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Adriana J. Najar-Rodríguez, Gimme H. Walter and Robert K. Mensah (2007)
The efficacy of a petroleum spray oil against Aphis gossypii Glover on cotton. Part 1: Mortality rates and sources of variation
Pest Management Science 63 (6), 586-595
Abstract: Petroleum spray oils (PSOs) kill insect pests on contact, and the composition of modern PSOs is substantially different from the ones introduced earlier. The effects of direct application of a new nC24 PSO on the cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover, were therefore determined. This covered not only aphid mortality rates but also the way in which the oils affected aphid behaviour at the time of contact with the oil. Direct application of the nC24 oil proved to be highly effective in controlling A. gossypii at a range of concentrations between 1 and 10% v/v. The oil killed cotton aphids quickly, with most of the mortality occurring within the first 10 min of spraying. The fast killing action of the oils prevented any behavioural responses by the aphids. Aphids killed by the oils became flaccid and their legs and antennae extended horizontally relative to the body axis. With time, their cuticle became very shiny and began to darken. The quick death of the aphids suggested a contact mode of action of the oils, an interpretation supported by the lack of any negative effect on aphids not initially reached by the oils. However, those aphids not hit by the oils, but that subsequently encountered oil-treated areas when they moved elsewhere, also died, indicating that the oil deposits are also toxic to the aphids. The mode of action of the oil thus seems to be versatile, and the means by which it kills the aphids may be more complex than anoxia, which is the widely claimed mechanism attributed to PSOs. This oil now needs to be tested for any possible indirect effects on the cotton aphid (e.g. through its host-plant acceptance behaviour). The implications of the present findings for cotton aphid control and assessment of PSO efficacy in the field are discussed.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Adriana Najar-Rodriguez, Gimme H. Walter, Robert K. Mensah

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
control - general

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Aphis gossypii Cotton (Gossypium)