Strategies, systems, value judgements and dieldrin in control of locust hoppers

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
D L Gunn

Abstract

The physiology and field biology of locusts have been extensively studied, and ecological control of Red Locusts has been investigated by field experiment. No fruitful or even promising non-insecticidal method of control has emerged. An effective and economical system requires an insecticide that is: (i) effective at very small area dosages, as a stomach poison placed on the natural vegetation can be, if it is also cumulative; (ii) persistent enough in sunshine and rain to retain effectiveness over the locust's non-feeding periods; (iii) capable of being well distributed by well-tried methods; and (iv) not dangerous to users or consumers and posing a minimal overall risk. Only one insecticide, dieldrin, satisfies all these requirements. Dieldrin is not in the small class of insecticides that are dangerous to man by skin absorption (such as parathion, arsenicals, DNC) and, at the area dosages needed for locust control, is not dangerous to stock. The Sayer exhaust sprayer in a Land Rover, with work rates of the order of square kilometres per hour is excellent for many situations; aircraft spraying at he rate of square kilometres per minute is quicker and less subject to difficulties of terrain, but requires trained and appropriat...Continue Reading

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