Light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Walker), eggs were subjected to oxygenated phosphine fumigation treatments under 70% oxygen on cut flowers to determine efficacy and safety. Five cut flower species: roses, lilies, tulips, gerbera daisy, and pompon chrysanthemums, were fumigated in separate groups with 2,500 ppm phosphine for 72 h at 5°C. Egg mortality and postharvest quality of cut flowers were determined after fumigation. Egg mortalities of 99.7–100% were achieved among the cut flower species. The treatment was safe to all cut flowers except gerbera daisy. A 96-h fumigation treatment with 2,200 ppm phosphine of eggs on chrysanthemums cut flowers also did not achieve complete control of light brown apple moth eggs. A simulation of fumigation in hermetically sealed fumigation chambers with gerbera daisy showed significant accumulations of carbon dioxide and ethylene by the end of 72-h sealing. However, oxygenated phosphine fumigations with carbon dioxide and ethylene absorbents did not reduce the injury to gerbera daisy, indicating that it is likely that phosphine may directly cause the injury to gerbera daisy cut flowers. The study demonstrated that oxygenated phosphine fumigation is effective against light brown apple moth eggs. However, it may not be able to achieve the probit9 quarantine level of control and the treatment was safe to most of the cut flower species.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4