Ingestible insecticides for spotted wing Drosophila control: a polyol, Erythritol, and an insect growth regulator, Lufenuron
Abstract Bioassays tested insecticidal activity of Erythritol from the nutritive sweetener, Truvia, and an insect growth regulator, Lufenuron, against life stages (eggs, larvae, pupae, adults) of Drosophila melanogaster (Meigen) and Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), the spotted wing Drosophila (SWD). These compounds were chosen for their demonstrated acute toxicity to adult and larval Drosophila and potential use on organic fruit farms. D. melanogaster fed on standard Drosophila diet media moistened with water containing known concentrations of Erythritol. Likewise, SWD consumed standard diet media as well as thawed host fruit (blackberries and blueberries) treated with solutions of Erythritol, Lufenuron or both. During the first bioassay, Erythritol at lower concentrations between 0 and 500 m m (~61 000 ppm) in water and mixed with instant diet media increased adult survival from ~80% to 97% for D. melanogaster and SWD. However, from aqueous concentrations ranging from 1750 (~414 000 ppm) to 2000 m m (~244 000 ppm), Erythritol killed 100% of adult Drosophila in culture vials. One hundred per cent mortality for SWD and D. melanogaster occurred at ≥0.5 m (~61 000 ppm) Erythritol added to diet media or topically applied to host fruit. In a second bioassay, 0.013–1.000 ppm of aqueous Lufenuron, a chitin synthase inhibitor, when added to dry diet media prevented 90–99% of SWD from reaching the pupal stage. In another assay, ~67% of SWD eggs or neonates (early first instars) died inside blackberries pre‐treated with (dipped in) a soapy solution of 10 ppm Lufenuron. Pre‐treating blackberry fruit with an Erythritol–Lufenuron mixture reduced SWD brood survival by 99%. Likewise, during our last fruit‐based bioassay, 98% of eggs and neonates died inside blueberries similarly pre‐treated. During the last experiment, Lufenuron in diet media also rendered adult females sterile. Sterility, however, dissipated over 7 days once females began feeding on a Lufenuron‐free diet media.
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