Topical and fumigant toxicity of saturated aliphatic fatty acids with chain lengths of C1 through C14 were determined against the German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.). In the C1 to C11 series, topical toxicity (LD50 in milligram per adult male) ranged from 0.145 (C1) to 0.322 mg (C2). Toxicity declined dramatically with C12 and C14 acids whose LD50 values could not be calculated. The relative fumigation toxicity (LC50 in microliter per liter) of C1 through C5 acids was positively correlated with topical toxicity with values ranging from 6.159 (C3) to 12.302 µl/liter (C2). Fumigant toxicity decreased sharply with C6 (LC50 = 37.691 µl/ liter) and there was no mortality of cockroaches exposed to vapors from C7 to C14 acids. The low fumigant toxicity of the C6 to C11 acids was correlated with their relatively low vapor pressure, but differences in diffusion of the vapors into the spiracles and subsequent passage to the target sites may have also been involved.
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Vol. 107 • No. 2