Pest Management Science (2018) 74, 648-657
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Novel use of aliphatic n-methyl ketones as a fumigant and alternative to methyl bromide for insect control
Pest Management Science 74 (3), 648-657
Fumigants like phosphine, methyl bromide and sulfuryl fluoride are highly effective for the control of structural, storage and agricultural arthropod pests. Unfortunately, many of these synthetic compounds are highly toxic to people, many pests have developed resistance to these compounds and methyl bromide, the 'gold standard' for fumigants, was de-registered because of its contribution to depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. Alternative fumigant chemistry is needed.
Several plant species produce n-aliphatic methyl ketones to prevent plant herbivory. To examine the use of methyl ketones as a fumigant, structure–mortality studies were conducted using the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, as a model. A new easy-to-use, inexpensive and disposable bioassay system was developed for this study. The LC50 values for heptanone, octanone, nonanone and undecanone were 4.27, 5.11, 5.26 and 8.21 µg/cm3 of ambient air, respectively. Although heptanone, octanone and nonanone were more effective than undecanone, subsequent research was conducted with 2-undecanone because this compound already has US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration as a biopesticide. In dose–response field studies, 12.4 mL of undecanone injected into mounds was the lowest application rate that produced no ant activity in the mound with no re-establishment of ants. Reagent grade undecanone was more cost-effective than methyl bromide for fire ants, adult German cockroaches and tobacco budworm eggs, but slightly more expensive for adult flour beetles.
The naturally occurring methyl ketone undecanone has the potential to be an alternative to current fumigants for a variety of pest applications.
(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): R. Michael Roe
Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
control - general
Pest and/or beneficial records: