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New Zealand Plant Protection 68 (2015): 449

Developing smart aerosol technologies for insect control

Z.J. Lennon, A.R. Harper, D.M. Suckling and A.M. El-Sayed


Novel technologies for controlling invasive pest insects could benefit New Zealand environmentally and economically. Current technologies could be improved by reducing non-target impacts and running costs, and improving delivery to target populations. A novel aerosol technology currently in development is presented for control of pest insects. The data are from two preliminary experiments investigating the potential use of this technology to control the invasive social wasp Vespula vulgaris. In experiment 1, the quantity of the juvenile hormone analogue methoprene delivered from a prototype sprayer to dead mounted wasps at various distances was measured. Up to ~200 μg of methoprene was able to be delivered from 40 cm away. In experiment 2, V. vulgaris larvae were fed methoprene in single varying-strength doses under laboratory conditions. The proportion of larvae pupated after 1 week was measured. It was found that 0.75, 1.5 and 3 μg methoprene all successfully reduced pupation. These promising early results indicate smart aerosol technology may be a viable option for control of pest insects and warrants further development.

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