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New Zealand Plant Protection 66 (2013): 54-62

The potential of ethyl formate + carbon dioxide to control a range of horticultural pests

M.J. Griffin, L.E. Jamieson, A. Chhagan, N.E.M. Page-Weir, J. Poulton, V.A. Davis, F. Zulhendri and P.G. Connolly


Ethyl formate (EF) is a 'generally recognised as safe' (GRAS) compound that can be applied as a fumigant to disinfest fresh produce. This paper reports initial research to determine the dose responses of various pests to ethyl formate+carbon dioxide treatment during 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-h treatments at ambient temperatures between 18 and 23C. Thrips (mixtures of Thrips tabaci and Frankliniella occidentalis) on lupin flowers, obscure mealybugs (Pseudococcus viburni) on potatoes, and greedy scale (Hemiberlesia rapax) on potatoes were more susceptible than either lightbrown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana) eggs on plastic and fifth instar larvae on apples, or codling moth (Cydia pomonella) second/ third instars and fifth instars on apples. Further efficacy studies are warranted to investigate the commercial viability of EF+CO2 treatment of fresh produce against other pests, effects on fruit quality, and commercial application logistics.

Keywords: ethyl formate, generally recognised as safe, GRAS, codling moth, lightbrown apple moth, mealybugs, scale, thrips.

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