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J Econ Entomol. 2016 Dec;109(6):2355-2363. Epub 2016 Oct 7.

A Combination Treatment Using Ethyl Formate and Phosphine to Control Planococcus citri (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) on Pineapples.

Author information

Plant Quarantine Technology Center, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (QIA), Republic of Korea (;;
Plant Quarantine Technology Center, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (QIA), Republic of Korea (;;
Department of Plant Medicine, College of Agriculture, Life and Environment Sciences, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Republic of Korea (
Dongbu ARI, Dongbu Farm Hannong Co. Nonsan, Republic of Korea (
School of Veterinary and Life Science, Murdoch University, 90 South St., Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia (


Citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Risso), is a known quarantine pest that is difficult to control with phosphine (PH3) or low concentrations of ethyl formate (EF), particularly at low temperatures. Methyl bromide (MB) is a fumigant used for quarantine and preshipment (QPS) that can eradicate target pests with short fumigation periods. However, MB, which is an ozone-depleting substance, is scheduled to be phased out in South Korea over the next decade. There is no ideal alternative fumigant to replace MB for QPS of perishable commodities. A laboratory study was conducted to compare the individual effects of EF and PH3 individually, and the effects of EF mixed with PH3 as an MB alternative for the control of P. citri adults, nymphs, and eggs. In comparison to treatments with EF and PH3 individually, EF mixed with PH3 resulted in high toxicity to all stages of P. citri. The eggs were more tolerant than the nymphs and adults. A mixed treatment of EF and PH3 achieved complete control of eggs infesting pineapples at concentrations of 25.1/1.0 (EF/PH3) mg/liter at 8 °C for 4 h of exposures. This new combined EF/PH3 fumigation technology could offer shorter exposure times and less damage to perishable commodities at low temperatures, and could potentially be extended to controlling other quarantine pests as a replacement treatment for fruit and vegetables in which methyl bromide is currently being used.


Planococcus citri; ethyl formate; fumigant interaction; phosphine

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