The determination of log-time mortality curves of the various life stages of (Hypera postica) subjected to certain insecticides

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute


The purpose of this investigation was to test three insecticides on all the life stages of the alfalfa weevil.

The objectives were to obtain information on the toxicity of certain insecticides on the alfalfa weevil in the laboratory, to establish standard susceptibility curves of the life stages of the alfalfa weevil to the insecticides tested, to establish a basis for insect resistance, to compare the speed of action of certain classes of insecticides and to observe the effects of certain insecticides on molting, feeding and other processes that may be affected.

Dibrom, heptachlor epoxide, and Indian were tested against various life stages of the alfalfa weevil. These three insecticides were chosen because of the differences in their chemistry and activity. Dibrom, a volatile organophosphate, could be expected to act fast but have relatively limited residual life.Heptachlor epoxide as a cyclodiene compound should have exhibited the characteristic latent period of from two to six hours before symptoms of its activity appeared. The residual activity should be great. Indian, a more stable organophosphate than Dibrom, would be expected to be somewhat intermediate between the other two in speed of action and residual activity.

Each insecticide was impregnated in filter paper at the dosage of 100 micrograms per square centimeter of filter paper surface. The insects were introduced on to the filter paper for continuous exposure to the insecticide residue. Mortality and certain other effects were recorded according to time of exposure.

In general, responses of the alfalfa weevil to the three insecticides were comparable. One insecticide may have been quicker acting than the other two against a particular life stage, but the differences in the effects of the insecticides were not great.

In every case, the three insecticides inhibited feeding, molting, or maturation to another life stage.