Control of the Snake Mite (Ophionyssus natricis), Other Mites, and Certain Insects with the Sorptive Dust, SG 671

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A highly porous, finely divided, amorphous type of silica acrogel, SG 67, with an average particle size of 3 micra was found to be very effective for the control of the snake mite, Ophionyssus natricis (Gervais), infesting snakes and lizards, and the cages housing them. The compound kills by adsorbing the lipids (waxes) making up the waterproof layer of the epicuticle of arthropods causing the loss of abnormal quantities of body fluids in comparatively short periods of time. The dust compound is composed of 95.3% silica aerogel with 4.7% ammonium fluosilicate impregnated in less than a continuous monomolecular film on its internal surfaces. The ammonium fluosilicate gives the compound a strong positive charge enabling it to adhere well to the bodies of mites as well as to the horizontal and vertical surfaces of the construction materials used for the reptile cages and to the particles of sand and vermiculite used to cover the floors of the cages. The ammonium fluosilicate greatly increases the insecticidal effectiveness of the dust compound, but does not detract from the ability of the silica aerogel particles to adsorb the lipids from the epicuticle. A gopher snake placed into 10 ounces of SG 67 for a period of 1 week, a ring-neck snake submerged in approximately 1 ounce of the compound for more than 18 hours, and an alligator lizard thoroughly doused with the dust suffered no ill effects from the compound. l\fore than Ion snakes and lizards now have been successfully treated with the compound for the control of snake mites and none has been affected adversely by the compound. A single dusting with 7 ounces of SG 67 per reptile cage, 6 feet long by 3 feet wide and 1 1/2 feet high, on the inside framework and the vermiculite and sand flooring of the cage controlled the mites within the cage, as well as on reptiles housed in the cage, for a period of 16 months. Without exception, merely placing the reptiles in the cages and allowing them to crawl over the treated surfaces of the cages was sufficient to accomplish rapid control of the mites on the reptiles.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1960

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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