Spinosad, a fermentation product from the naturally occurring soil actinomycete bacterium Saccharopolyspora spinosa, has been reported to have a high level of activity against phytophagous insects and insects impacting human and animal health. It has low mammalian toxicity and a favorable environmental profile, including low persistence and no toxicity to fish and wildlife at mosquito larvicidal rates. In order to determine the activity and efficacy of spinosad against larvae of Culex mosquitoes, technical powder and liquid formulations of spinosad were tested against mosquito larvae under laboratory and field conditions. In the laboratory, spinosad powder was highly active against 2nd and 4th instars of Culex quinquefasciatus after 24 h of exposure. The extent of mortality increased slightly after 48 h of exposure. Second instars were slightly more susceptible than 4th instars. The liquid formulation showed somewhat higher activity (about 2×) than the technical powder material at both the LC50 and LC90 levels. In field microcosm tests against natural populations of mosquitoes, the liquid formulation yielded excellent control of immature Culex spp. for 21 days at concentrations of 0.05 mg (AI)/liter and 35 days at 0.1 to 0.5 mg (AI)/liter in outdoor tubs. This formulation also yielded excellent control of natural Culex mosquitoes for 14 days or longer at 0.025 to 0.1 mg (AI)/liter in outdoor ponds. From our data, it appears that spinosad as a new mode of action has a good potential for controlling mosquito larvae.
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Vol. 25 • No. 4