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Pineapple: Chemical Control of Mealybug and Associated Ants in Guyana

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Ants (Solenopsis sp. and Araucomyrmex sp.) tend the pineapple mealybug, Dysmicoccus brevipes (Cockerell), on pineapple in sandy soils and cause heavy infestations. Aldrin spray was not very effective against Solenopsis sp. but was effective against Araucomyrmex sp. Powdered skimmed milk plus wheaten flour and wheat middling were attractive to Solenopsis sp. and Araucomyrmex sp., respectively. Heptachlor was superior to mirex as a toxicant in baits for both ant species. Application of bait to nests destroyed almost all ant colonies. With the elimination of ant Solenopsis sp., sand shelters made by the ant over mealybug colonies crumbled, sooty mold developed in mealybug colonies, and ca. 75% of the mealybugs died.

Forty-three insecticides were compared in the laboratory for toxicity to the mealybug. For disinfestation of planting material by dipping slips in insecticidal fluid, omethoate was best with LC99.9 and LC99.99 values of 0.0052 and 0.0135%, respectively. For control of residual population of mealybug on field plants after control of ants, 37 mg AI phoxim/plant as 0.07% emulsion spray, 62.5 mg AI phorate/plant as 0.625% emulsion poured in whorl while it rained, or 48 mg AI phorate/plant as 3% granules placed in whorl and side leaves proved better than other treatments tested. Because of concern about safety of phorate, phoxim spray is recommended for mealybug control.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1980

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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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