Evaluation of Starch Encapsulation for Formulation of Grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) Entomopoxviruses

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An entomopoxvirus isolated from Melanoplus sanguinipes (F.) and currently under consideration as a microbial control agent for rangeland grasshoppers was formulated in starch matrices containing various adjuvants and fed to M. sanguinipes nymphs. Percent mortality 21 d after exposure to granules containing molasses (a feeding stimulant) and carbon (an ultraviolet [UV] light screen) was 80%, whereas a formulation containing Congo red produced only 35% mortality. Although control mortality averaged 31 %, percent infection of surviving control grasshoppers was only 1.5%. Percent infection of surviving grasshoppers fed starch-encapsulated virus containing molasses and carbon was 89.7%, whereas only 30% of the survivors were infected following exposure to granules with Congo red. A field test in which starch granules laced with carbaryl were applied to small rangeland plots demonstrated that grasshoppers located and fed upon the granules as readily as the commercial standard wheat bran bait. Survival of virus and acceptance of the starch bait by grasshoppers suggest that this versatile formulation technique should playa major part in the development of grasshopper microbial control products.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1991

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