Methyl bromide fumigation of the white-fringed beetle larva in small flowerpots in New Orleans


Material Information

Methyl bromide fumigation of the white-fringed beetle larva in small flowerpots in New Orleans
Physical Description:
4 leaves : 27 cm.
Livingstone, E. M
United States -- Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Soil fumigation   ( lcsh )
Bromomethane   ( lcsh )
White-fringed beetles -- Control -- Louisiana -- New Orleans   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


General Note:
Caption title.
General Note:
General Note:
"September 1940."
Statement of Responsibility:
by E.M. Livingstone.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 030272232
oclc - 778791856
System ID:

Full Text
r A

3-513 September 194O
United States Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine



By E. M. Livingstone, Division of Control Investigations

The discovery of the white-fringed beetle (Pantomorus leucoloma (Boh.)
in New Orleans in the latter part of 1937, and the subsequent promulgation
of quarantines by the State of Louisiana and by the Federal Government,
under which plant material with soil attached to the roots was not permitted
to move from the infested area, made it necessary that experimental work be
undertaken to provide means of disinfesting soil masses. The object of the
work reported in this paper was to determine the optimum methyl bromide
fumigation treatment that might be used with safety on plants grown in this
area and to determine the maximum size of flowerpot in the soil of which
the treatment would produce complete mortality of white-fringod beetle

Method and Proceture

The insect larvae were collected from infested areas covered with
Johnson gr!)ss and other weeds in New Orleans and vicinity. These were
placed in flowerpots of potting soil composed of approximately equal parts
of brown river silt, well-rotted cow manure, swamp leafmold, and s-and or
sandy loam; at the same time wheat or peanuts, sometimes both, were planted
in the pots, and when the plants had produced a root system sufficient to
bind the soil into a compact mass, they were used in testing the lethal
effect of the fumigant on the larvae. The compact mass of soil bound to-
gether by the roots simulated the conditions found in pots in which nursery
stock is growing. Twenty-four hours after the fumigation the larvae were
removed from the soil masses and placed on the surface of moist sand. If
they burrowed into the sand, they were counted as having survived the treat-
ment; if unable to do so, they were regarded as having been killed by it.

The experimental fumigation equipment consisted of a tight metal-
lined chamber containing 25 cubic feet of space. The walls were well
insulated with bagasse board. In the chamber was a fan for circulating the
fumigant and an electric heater operated automatically through a thermostat
for control of the temperature during the fumiga'tion treatment.

In actual operation the desired number of infested pots of various
sizes were placed in the fumigation chamber along with a selection of plants
being tested for their ability to withstand the treatment. The heater was
then turned on and allowed to operate automatically, a temperature of g50 F.
or slightly above being maintained in all the experiments. Sufficient time
was allowed for the soil masses in the pots to reach these temperatures

- 5 -

h-forp th0 f'umignt w- s intr'vy. Tn th- cT-mher th- h -t w- -IstrP--
uti-e-r vly by -' continuisl--i ior~'-- f!4n, r'v- -t -low F-'p-A o 'v-O
"win r-yn'V- to thri -01-1tts, rrolurn' th r )n o4 th-~ orcf'imig-tip.z-
hf-tirl- n-rlooi ir 61,rir -h- fmi-'-tin- ,xrsurp. When th- t-m-o-r-tlir,
ofP th- s-11 h-4 r-ch- IZ50 ., th lioui ith--l brr-q w' i-trilic-
nrA th' fuiga-tiorn -r ,.,-s suro from this tihr. mh- Dr~c"Ol-
-fi c gnt (-iheut '1.5 -rc~nt -ur) w.-s m-isur=,A in s-l! cylir inr intrnuc-A (ir th liiii stntp) hriugh -' s-1 o i n
th- ton of th, fhri4--+in ch,+inr.

'nxrim-r t-! P- sllts

Tr nunlvbr -pr-liminpry -o-rimr. ts v-.ri-ns clnc"-rtr-tior's -'f
n-th vl roi n -ori s of px nnr w1-rP t, t for Irt.-lty to thy'
Inrvc of the whit -frin-r-7 botl: -1 to n v s-ci--s of 1'nts. 'r'm
th,-sn ryxn.rimn ts it socm,-' cviH,-nt th1t th lp. t da. to thr )lJ-ts
of this frp occurr-r when the crc-rtrtion of th' fm-ig nt w-s low Mn
th- npri~ n f ,xnosur- long, wh-r-,-s high concrtr~tions -' ,h,1rt
nymosuros -n-n-rp to cousp 'r,-t-r 3mnr to, ol~rts or ,g-ve inconol't-
-'rtnlity of lnrv- Crrt-ir. soci-s if onlnts ';rc nor( tolerpnt to th :
-s th-n oth-rs. It pno'roi th-.t -s)g' of 1 oounf of r-thyl brimia
to ouch lnrV cubic 7rt O) snncr in th- ch br rl l r yxoosur of
hours c-u s l t injury in gn-rnl to) nl-nt life, : it w i to
t-r-min whn-t ws th- lorgSt S,.7 nr't If soil In which this os", -,n
'mxnosurs ot 950 *. -r slirhtl- ibov-. woul8 ziv comnl-tr mort-lity of'
trst irscts..

In tnbl- 1 -re giv-n th- results nbt-,inA whr th' &hov" tr-traPnt
wxs noolic8 to flowernots ?-I/-, 2-1/2, 3, -n3 L inches in size. 'h- soil
w's usu-11'y no more th.n mdOiup. w-t -1 npver sogy or

mh!, '"ti -iv--n in ti'ol1 1 slow thit co-nlte nrtn1ity if 1lr-
in 2-1/4-, 2-1/2-, onrl 3-inch floweroots wls obt-nrd. mhp mort-lit7,r in
4-inch nots w, incopnlete .,n- -v vrn-gd 05.1 n'rcont. It is of intrst
to nnint mit thot the ,,lun- of th- 2-1/4-inch not is 101 cc., th- ?-1/?-
irch pot IO cc., --id th- 3-inch not 215 cc-, whrr.-s th-,t of the b-inch
not is 5-O0 cc., which is ?.3 tines -s gre-t -s t_ v.olu.r- of th- 3-inch

Sincp th- etnrninition th- t lqrvap in thp soil of 3-ich -n
smol1or flow~rronts wor- 1il1 by fiLi tien with m t'Irl brori9p it n
.os'=.e of 1 nolinrl for 1, hours r"t 950 7. or slightlv -bovn, ......... in
.rpw Orlrns nnA vicinity h-v- fnui' t- -n -stimot'd : 0 thous-n'4 pl-nts,
with thp -id 'm9 suxoervision of th' Louisi~n St-tr -tm"ut of
Agriculture nrO Imigrqtion n' the- Division f 'omrstic Plint urnntinos
of th', 'Tnit ct-t-s h-r ru of Tntonolov n, Plt u-rntir'. 'Yot -iI
species -nd- vqrietims of nlints grown covmercidly in 'T,-w Orleqns will
tolprot- this trptn'-nt, but bout oO nercont will toilr-.te it without
noticeblr ',- e or serious retkr,.%tion. xnrimt-I work -nd


PxppriencO in cimmprcPil work h'vn showim thq-t susc p tibl- plnts suffer
1's, amrn urhrn growth is nit -ctiv -n 9 thqt -wl.y trpnsoln-nt- roite
cuttings jw1 stealing olnnts should nit br- fum'gted until 1--I 1st1b-
lishaO. It follows, thpraforc, thit tht tolrrrnc- of s'm,- l-',nts in thr'
rlinmt if T-w rl-ns to thr tre-tment varios not only with th species
on,1 vvripty but with simrwhit int.'n-ibl conitions of growth.

Whrthnr or not th!, ltrvp if th whitr-fringp f1 tl' nd th- 01oonts
.r -)thr'r -r-q wh-r th btl is known to occur show th s-7.- t-l-r~c
t-, m~thVi 'hriil- fumigation th-t thp,' 9 in th" N T-w rlrl(o-ns -r-i his not.
horn trrmiT-A.

nbl- l.- ort-lity crtused by !v thyl brimide fuimlgti'n to r iP o th-
white-fringed b(rtl- in flowrr-oots fro-m ?-1/4 to 4 inches in
si-P, with 1 pound of funig-nt to Pnch 1,000 cubic ftet o-' chifmb-r
snnce, for 4 hours -t tporptur-s of 950 '. or sl'.;htly qbov.
YPw Orlorns, Ln.

' ries Yiimber of 'Tnibsr of Mort!ity of l2rvne
No. flowr~roots lirvp rp- Yumb er killed Prcent killed
,-,v -rtd nft-r
fw igati on

Lnrvqe in 2-l/4-inch fli,>erpots

1 13 L 3 43 100.0
2 2 4 4 i00..0
3 9 2- 2. 100.0
4 6 20 20 100.0
5 31 31 100.0
6 5 5 100.0
7 I4 1 i00.0
SI- 6 100.0
motol mr
-virogp lhl 1 il I)0.0

L-mvrie in -1/2-inch flowprmots

0 34 34 100.0
10 3 13 13 100.0
Ii 7 31 31 101).0
1 6 10 1r 101.0
13 10 113 43 100.0
l1 2 2 100.0
15 3 1 100.0
mntnl or
vprnge 39 151 151 100.0


m'ble 1.-continued

1ri's hrnbhr of ?Thmbpr of T!ortility of larvw~e
IT flownrpots 1rvwe re- Nunbpr kill'r3 Percent killed
c'ovorra, qfter

Lnrvqe in 3-inch flowerpots

16 6 27 ?7 100.0
17 3 1? 12 100.0
19 7 P6 26 100.0
5 2? 22 100.0
?0 10 45 45 100.0
4 14 100. 0
22 1 14 100.0
3 3 11 11 100.0
P4 50 ?11 211 100.0
25 19 76 76 100.0
26 70 205 205 100.0
27 46 I1o0 IO0 lO.0
Tnt-I or
nv:,rqgr 220 023 q?3 100.0

Lnrvl'e in 4-inch flower-onts

29 6 56 5 ioo.o
?C 1 4 4 100.0
30 6 51 47 02.1
31 6 47 45 05.7
3 6 39 20 76.3
33 1 7 7 100.0
31 1 6 6 100.0
35 1 ? 2 100.0
36 237 '25 qh4.
37 27 ?00 ?0_1 Il0.0
39 31 267 250 03.6
Totpl or
vrnrp 115 00 05.1


Puniig-tion of th' l-rv of th,- white-fringd beetle (Pnntonorus
lncolom (Roh.) in T(,w Orlfns with methyl brorir nt d.osagce of 1 pound
to nch 1,000 cubic feet of chamb-r spoc for P. D-riod of 4 hours -t tem-
norature of 950 ". or v-rPging closely ibovo that point, destroyed infes-
tqtions in the soil qbout th- roots of plants growing in 3-inch or sr~ller
flowerpots, but not in b-inch nots. Tiv- volume. of the 4-inch pot is ?.3
times ns gret -s thnt of th- 3-inch rot. The treatment h-s been used
successfully in ougrqntine work in Now Orlenns nd is tolcrated by coprox-
imtely 00 percent of the plrnt soPcies ind varieties.


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