Laboratory bioassays were carried out to evaluate the effect of insect density (10, 30, 60, and 100 adults), wheat quantity (10, 30, 60, and 100 g), and cracked kernel containment (5, 15, 30, and 50%) on the efficacy of diatomaceous earth (DE). Three beetle species, Sitophilus oryzae (L.), Rhyzopertha dominica (F.), and Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val, as well as two DE formulations, Insecto and SilicoSec, and one DE enhanced with pyrethrum, PyriSec (all commercially available) were tested. In the first two series of bioassays, the three DE formulations were applied at three dose rates, 500, 1000 and 1,500 ppm. In the third series, the dose rates used were 500 and 1,000 ppm. Dead adults were counted 14 d later. For insect density, wheat quantity, and cracked kernel containment, significant differences were noted in mortality levels of the tested species among the three DE formulations and among doses. No significant differences were noted in the mortality levels among the four adult densities of any of the insects tested. The increase of wheat quantity used in the bioassays increased significantly adult mortality of T. confusum. The increase of cracked wheat containment decreased significantly adult mortality of S. oryzae.
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Vol. 100 • No. 5