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Influence of Temperature on the Biological Activity of Insecticides in Soil

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A study was conducted to determine the extent to which temperature influences the biological activity of insecticides in soil. First instars of the common field cricket, Acheta pennsylvanicus(Burmeister), were used as test insects. Tests were conducted in controlled environmental chambers at 15, 21, 27, and 33°C. Temperature had no effect on the toxicity of aldrin and heptachlor applied directly to the test insects, but DDT exhibited a negative temperature coefficient. The toxicity of aldrin and heptachlor was positively correlated with temperature as residual contact poisons applied to a glass surface, DDT exhibited a positive temperature coefficient between 15 and 21°C but was negatively correlated at higher temperatures. In moist and dry sandy loam and moist muck soils, aldrin and heptachlor showed positive temperature coefficients with the most pronounced differences occurring in the dry sandy loam. The toxicity of DDT was negatively correlated with temperature in the moist soils, but temperature had little effect on its activity in dry sandy loam. Diazinon, Dursban® (O,O-diethyl O-(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridyl) phosphorothioate), and methomyl all had positive temperature coefficients in moist sandy loam. The results are discussed in relation to the effect of temperature on insect mobility, insecticide volatilization, and adsorption of insecticides by soil.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 15, 1971

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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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