In laboratory experiments, toxicity of acrolein vapors was investigated against four species of stored-product insects. In empty-space trials, estimates of the median lethal doses of acrolein against adults of Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.), Sitophilus oryzae (L.), Rhyzopertha dominica (F.), and Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), were 1.87, 2.35, 3.12, and 6.65 mg/liter, respectively. Penetration tests revealed that acrolein vapors could penetrate into the wheat mass and kill concealed insects in interkernel spaces. Comparison of LD50 values between empty-space tests and penetration experiments after 24-h exposure indicated that the increase in penetration toxicity was 6.34-, 6.31-, 7.17-, and 4.54-fold for O. surinamensis, S. oryzae, R. dominica, and T. castaneum, respectively. In the hidden infestation trials, the acrolein vapors destroyed all the developmental stages of S. oryzae and R. dominica concealed inside the wheat kernels, resulted in a complete control with dose of 80 mg/liter for 24 h, and subsequently observed during 8 wk after the exposure. Wheat germination rate was diminished by fumigation with acrolein. The plumule length was reduced after exposure to all doses of acrolein. Together, the data suggest acrolein could be a potential compound for empty-space fumigations.
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Vol. 99 • No. 5