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Hawaii Agricultural Experiment St5
E. V. WILCOX, Special Agent in Charge.
PRESS BULLETIN NO. 27.
The Use of Insecticides in Ha
DAVID T. FULLAWAY,
The agriculturist has always to contend with in
which destroy or injure his crops. This is in the
things, as insects are largely phytophagous. Were it
for the fact that parasitism is general within the class
condition would soon result. It is difficult to estimate(
occasioned by insects, but they must in the aggregate
mous. To prevent or mitigate them is largely a prac
lem in which both entomologist and agriculturist are
The more practical aspects of the subject are already
to the grower through experience, and the purpose of t
paper, which deals principally with the insecticides x
come into general use in Hawaii, is merely to bring t(
available information for the benefit of all.
Arsenical insecticides kill by poisoning and are ii
be ingested by the insect. They are the most widely
of all the insecticides, but are only useful for insects u
mouthparts. The following are some of the leading
Revision of Bul. 3-out of print.
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Arsenate of Lead. Arsenate of lead may be applied to plants
in the form of a spray with water as a vehicle, or in a powdered
form may be dusted on. Both forms can be bought on the market
ready-made, or they can be made at home. They are generally
useful for defoliating insects and the young stages of stem borers
and leaf rollers. Prepared arsenate of lead is applied at the rate
of 3-15 lbs. to 100 gallons of water. To prepare arsenate of lead
*m~bhtP Ats components, use 3 parts of pulverized arsenate of soda
hRp ghf pulverized acetate of lead. These dissolved in warm
watel*. w united form a white precipitate which should be kept
covered w ,twater until desired for use. The powdered arsenate
is ababN'hiore easily and cheaply applied to some plants and -
is more eNecve for some insect pests, the boll worm for instance.
ParT* Gieen. Paris green sometimes forms a substitute for
*.asg oFlead and if a guaranteed brand and mixed with lime
its.as effective as lead arsenate and perhaps cheaper. The
caustic properties of paris green (due to the free arsenious acid
it contains) makes its use more or less unsafe and the lime is
added, usually in equal proportion to the paris green, to over-
come its tendency to burn. Paris green is applied at the rate of
1 lb. of paris green to 100-250 gallons of water. It is also some-
times dusted onto plants, but is then apt to burn.
White Arsenic. White arsenic is used only in insect baits.
The bait is prepared by mixing arsenic and bran, middlings or
flour, with the addition of thin molasses. The proportions are
1 lb. of arsenic to 20-50 lbs. of bran. Spread in the field, around
the plants if desired but not so near to them that the arsenic dis-
solved by the rain will burn them. The arsenic is also sometimes
mixed with freshly cut alfalfa or sorghum and distributed over
the fields to bait insects. Baits are very useful in Hawaii in
coping with cutworms, army worms, and wireworms.
Petroleum insecticides act by external contact, causing
tion and interfering with the vital functions of the insect.
use is confined largely to insects with sucking mouthparts,
cannot be effectively reached with poisons, and to aquatic or
semi-aquatic larv-e. The following are some of the petroleum
Kerosene Emulsion. Kerosene emulsion is usually applied
to infested plants in the form of a spray, and is the standard
remedy for attacks of plant lice, scale insects and leaf hoppers.
In preparing the mixture, a "stock" emulsion is at first secured,
which will keep several weeks, and the necessary dilution is made
at each application. To prepare the stock, dissolve one-half
pound of whale-oil soap in a gallon of water over a fire. Remove
while hot to a safe distance and add 2 gallons of kerosene, stir-
ring vigorously until the oil and soap solution are thoroughly
emulsified. This is diluted with 15-20 times the quantity of
water before applying it to the plants.
Miscible Oils. M3iscible oils are mostly proprietary com-
pounds which mix directly with water. There are many of these
on the market and they are mostly good, though more expensive
than home-made kerosene emulsion. They save time and bother.
and where but a small amount of spraying is to be done are per-
Soap. Castile soap dissolved in water is often used to kill
plant lice and scale insects, especially when the infested plants
are small and more or less personal attention can be given to the
application. The soap is dissolved in hot water and the applica-
tion made while the solution is still warm. Use 1 Ib. of soap
to 1-2 gallons of water.
Tobacco. Tobacco is gften used as an insecticide and is fairly
effective against plant lice, mealy bugs and other soft-bodied
insects which can be killed by an external irritant. It is a cheap
remedy, as the tobacco is largely waste from tobacco factories.
It is applied as a spray from infusions or decoctions of tobacco
stems, or the powdered tobacco scrapings are dusted onto plants
after they have been moistened, or in the early morning or late
evening while the dew is on them. Infusions or decoctions of
tobacco are often mixed with petroleum or other compounds to
enhance their insecticidal value. There are many proprietary
preparations of tobacco on the market, which are ready for use
directly when mixed with water, and save most of the trouble of
preparation. To make a tobacco decoction at home steep tobacco
(stems usually) in an amount of water sufficient to cover them
and when the active principle has all been extracted, strain and
dilute the liquid taken off with water until it has an amber color,
when it is ready for use.
Sulphur. Sulphur in the form of flowers of sulphur is val-
nable as an insecticide for thrips and red spider. It is used a
good deal in greenhouses, where it is evaporated in a sand bath
over an oil stove, or it may be applied directly to plants as a pow-
der. Sometimes it is mixed with water at the rate of 1 ounce to
the gallon of water; or the plants may first be moistened and the
sulphur dusted on.
Pyrethrum. Pyrethrum powder or buhach is commonly used
here as a repellant for mosquitoes. The powder is obtained from
the flower heads of a composite plant, Pyrethrum cinerariaefo-
lium, and owes its value as an insecticide to the presence of an
oil which is poisonous to insects when they can be reached by it.
To free a room of mosquitoes, a small amount of the powder is
spread directly upon coals, or made into small pills by wetting
and moulding with the hands and then set on the coals. It is also
useful in destroying plant lice or thrips on small plants and may
be applied as a spray when dissolved in water at the rate of
1 ounce to 3 gallons or dusted onto plants after diluting it with
from six to twenty parts of flour.
Hydrocyanic acid gas and the fumes of carbon bisulphid have
now come into rather general use as insecticides, the former in
the treatment of fruit trees or smaller plants badly infested with
plant lice, mealy bugs, scale or other insects, and both in treating
infested foodstuffs, seeds, plant stocks, furniture or other mate-
rial which can be enclosed in an air-tight compartment and sub-
jected to the action of the gas. The fumigation of orchard trees
or garden plants with hydrocyanic acid gas requires a covering
for the plants to retain the gas. These are usually made in the
form of a tent of stout canvas soaked in oil or cactus juice, or in
the form of a box, the frame of which is covered with cloth sim-
ilarly saturated with oil. Seeds, plant stocks, furniture, and
other material can be most economically fumigated in an air-
tight receptacle or compartment of suitable dimensions, and if
much fumigation is to be done, a fumigating box or house should
be specially constructed with the idea of convenience in placing
the "charge," storing the material, and ventilation. Mills, ware-
houses and storerooms can usually be fumigated when infested
by covering windows and doors and stopping up cracks and other
sources of leakage with paper pastings.
To generate hydrocyanic acid gas, cyanide of potassium, sul-
phuric acid and water are used in the proportions of 1 ounce of
cyanide to 1 fluid once of acid and 3 of water. An earthenware
vessel should be used. First pour in the water, then the acid,
and do not add the cyanide until everything is ready for the gen-
eration of the gas. For general purposes, use 1 ounce of cyanide
with the proper amount of acid and water, per 100 cubic feet.
The gas is lighter than air and diffuses rapidly, so that ample
allowance must be made for leakage.
The fumes of carbon bisulphid are better than hydrocyanic
acid gas for some purposes. They are heavier than air and far
more penetrating. The liquid also is much more easily handled.
It is therefore preferable for fumigating small lots, for grain
and seeds, which usually pack closely, and for use about houses.
It is also useful for ground-inhabiting insects, root-maggots and
root worms, root-feeding aphids, ants, borers, &c. In air-tight
compartments it is used at the rate of 1 pound per 1,000 cubic
feet. For ants, a teaspoonful poured into the opening of the nest
will usually destroy all the ants in the nest. For root forms,
5 ounces per plant are necessary, and usually several successive
SPRAYING TO KILL NOXIOUS WEEDS.
This subject, while somewhat foreign to the present paper, is
one on which information is frequently desired. Two com-
pounds have been used with some success here-ferrous sulphate
and arsenite of soda. Arsenite of soda for weed-killing is pre-
pared as follows: 2 lbs. of white arsenic and 6 lbs. of lime are
dissolved in one gallon of water and boiled for fifteen minutes.
Dilute one pint of this mixture with ten gallons of water, when
it is ready for use. Ferrous sulphate dissolves in water and is
used at the rate of 3 lbs. of sulphate to 1 gallon of water.
MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT.
Insecticidal materials and spraying apparatus can be pro-
cured from dealers in Honolulu or directly and through agencies
from wholesale houses on the mainland. The National Insecti-
cide law insures to a certain extent the validity and purity of
insecticides. The insecticide to use will depend on the identity
of the insect pest and the nature of its injury, and in this regard
assistance from the experiment station is always at the command
of the agriculturist. The variety and uses of different spraying
devices make the recommendation of any one impossible. The
grower can determine from catalogues and descriptions the ap-
paratus most useful for his purposes. Mechanical simplicity in
the pump and a nozzle that will give an exceptionally fine spray
seem to be desirable features in a machine here.
PRACTICAL REMEDIES FOR COMMON PESTS.
Red spider, Thrips-Dust the leaves or fruit with powdered
flowers of sulphur after moistening to make the powder adhere.
Ticks-Ticks on domestic animals should be dislodged by
hand and killed in kerosene. Zenoleum sprayed with consider-
able pressure on fowls, cattle, &c., will assist in keeping them
free of ticks and mites.
Book lice-Book lice in stored material may be readily killed
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Cockroaches-Cockroaches may be exterminated in houses by
spreading out at night cockroach poison-usually a mixture of
phosphorous and molasses.
Aphis-Spraying with petroleum mixtures or tobacco decoc-
tion will often reduce aphids when they are exceptionally abund-
ant. The predaceous Coccinellid beetles usually keep them well
Grasshoppers-Spray plants being damaged by grasshoppers
with arsenical poisons.
Mealy bug, Flat scales, White fly, Leaf hopper-Spray in-
fested plants with petroleum mixtures or tobacco decoctions, or
fumigate with hydrocyanic acid gas. The white flie& are also
attacked by parasitic fungi.
Wood borers-Wood-boring beetles and the carpenter bee are
prevented from destroying timbers by soaking the timbers in car-
bolineum, which acts as a repellant.
Cigarette beetle-Cigarette beetles in tobacco products are
controlled by fumigation with hydrocyanic acid gas.
Japanese beetle-To reduce the injuries of Japanese beetle,
when severe, a combination of the following remedies is recom-
mended: hand-picking at night, poisoning with an arsenical
spray, the use of the Japaiese beetle fungus, and plowing or
spading the turf in the vicinity of the injury to disturb the
Potato flea beetle-Spray with arsenical poisons.
Bean weevils-To reduce bean weevils in stored beans, fumi-
gate with carbon bisulphid. Weevils in stored products should
be similarly treated.
Mosquitoes and house flies-Relief from the adult fly can be
secured by screening, burning buhach powder, or trapping the
flies. The larvae of the mosquito can be killed by draining the
water in which it breeds or covering the surface of the water with
a film of petroleum. Duckweed and Azolla have also been used
to choke the surface of .the water. The nuisance of the house fly
may be abated, where its breeding-place can be controlled, by
spreading out stable manure in which they breed on the ground.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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Horse bots-The eggs should be removed from the-
legs by brushing and washing with solution of carbolic acid.
Cow bots-Cow bots should be removed from cows' backiK
pressure-'with the hands.
Dunig flies, Filth flies-Dung flies and filth flies may be
pressed by either removing the material in which they breed u
treating it with petroleum.
Horn fly-Horses and cattle may be relieved temporarily- IJ
horn fly by spraying them with zenoleum. The manure of
animals, in which the flies breed, should be spread out on tie..
Melon fly-The only practical suggestion with regard to0,
melon fly is to protect fruits, where possible, with paper bags.
Boll worm-To reduce boll worm infestation, dusting wi&
powdered arsenate of lead, picking and destroying infested bl
and fumigation of stored seed cotton are recommended.
Potato tuber moth, Tobacco split worm-Spraying with arpe-'.i:
nate of lead, clean culture, the fumigation of stored potatoes with
carbon bisulphid are recommended. .
Angoumois grain moth-Fumigation of stored grain wi:.
carbon bisulphid is recommended. ...
Cabbage moths, Cabbage butterfly, Sphinx moths, Leaf rol&-
lers-Spraying with arsenate of lead will reduce the damage
caused by these defoliators.
Ants-Ants can be destroyed in their nests by pouring into
the entrance a teaspoonful of carbon bisulphid.
Phycitid moths in stored foods-Fumigation with carbon
bisulphid or hydrocyanic acid gas is recommended to reduce an
infestation by these pests.
Cutworms, Army worms-Baits of sweetened bran and '"
arsenic, spread around individual plants or in rows about fields, -
are recommended for cutworms and army worms.
Sweet potato stem borer-Clean culture, the destruction of:
plant rubbish and discarded potatoes after harvest. .:
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