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Pest Manag Sci. 2006 May;62(5):456-64.

Persistence and efficacy of two diatomaceous earth formulations and a mixture of diatomaceous earth with natural pyrethrum against Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) on wheat and maize.

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Laboratory of Agricultural Zoology and Entomology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos str., 11855 Athens, Attica, Greece.


Laboratory tests were conducted to assess the insecticidal and residual effects of three diatomaceous earth (DE) formulations, Insecto, PyriSec and SilicoSec, against Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val on wheat and maize. Quantities of wheat and maize were treated with the above formulations at 500, 1000 and 1500 mg kg(-1) and stored at 25 degrees C and 55% relative humidity (RH). Samples were taken on the day of storage and every 30 days until completion of a 360 day period of storage. Adults of T. confusum were exposed to these samples at 25 degrees C and 55% RH and the mortality was measured after 24 and 48 h and 7 and 14 days of exposure. Adult mortality was higher on wheat than on maize. At the beginning of the storage period, mortalities after 14 day exposure on maize treated with the highest rate were 60, 63 and 81% for Insecto, PyriSec and SilicoSec respectively, while on wheat the mortality was 100% for all DEs. On the same commodities 360 days after treatment the respective mortality figures for wheat were 99, 98 and 100%, while in the case of maize they did not exceed 7%. Generally, mortality at exposures < or =48 h decreased with increasing storage time. Furthermore, although mortality on wheat increased with dose, the increase in DE dose from 1000 to 1500 mg kg(-1) resulted in only a small increase in mortality. Thus a DE treatment of 1000 mg kg(-1) was shown to provide long-term protection of wheat against T. confusum, although higher DE application rates and exposure intervals are needed for a satisfactory level of protection of maize against this pest.

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