The biopesticide Spinosad controls many insect pests of stored-food products. Laboratory and field trials were carried out to determine the efficacy of this pesticide against the cowpea weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus (F.) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae), the main storage pest of cowpea, Vigna unguiculata, Walp, in West Africa. In the laboratory, Spinosad caused high mortality of adult C. maculatus and decreased the number of eggs laid by females. Spinosad, however, was less toxic in the 24 h treatment to C. maculatus than deltamethrin, an insecticide commonly used in Burkina Faso to control this insect. In “on-farm” experiments, Spinosad was effective in controlling C. maculatus. After 6 mo of storage, the number of insects emerging from cowpeas seeds was reduced by >80% by coating seeds with Spinosad but only by 43% by coating with deltamethrin. Less than 20% of the seeds were perforated in the Spinosad treatment compared with 29% for deltamethrin. Spinosad controlled C. maculatus throughout the 6 mo of cowpea storage whereas deltamethrin failed to control C. maculatus after 3 mo of storage. Spinosad has the potential to be more effective in controlling C. maculatus than deltamethrin.
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Vol. 103 • No. 1