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New Class Of Insecticides Being Developed

June 17, 1993

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Georgia company is developing a new class of insecticides effective against cockroaches, ants, termites and other insects that live in groups or colonies, the Agriculture Department says.

The insecticides, called fluorsulfonates, are synthetic compounds originally used to disperse chemicals in oil, water or other formulations, said Robert K. Vander Meer, a chemist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

Griffin Corp. of Valdosta, Ga., has obtained two patents to develop the insecticides.

The compounds work against pests that live in groups or colonies because ″they’re what we call delayed-action insecticides,″ Vander Meer said.

″It takes about 24 hours before they start to kill the insects,″ he said. ″That’s enough time for the worker insects - about 5 percent of the total colony - to bring the insecticide back to the nest.″

Insects have to ingest the fluorosulfonates to be killed by them, he said.

Vander Meer, Clifford Lofgren and David Williams discovered the effectiveness of fluorosulfonates as insecticides at the Medical and Veterinary Entomology Research Laboratory in Gainesville, Fla.

Lab and field tests were run on cockroaches, ants and other insects for several years at Gainesville.

″A key advantage of the fluorosulfonates is that they will kill more than 90 percent of targeted insects at very low dosages,″ Vander Meer said. In addition, lab studies found that the compounds have low toxicity to humans and other mammals, he said, and would be used primarily in baits or traps.

Vander Meer and his colleagues discovered the insecticidal action of fluorosulfonates when they used some of them to help form experimental insecticides for fire ants.

″We discovered during experiments that the fluorosulfonates alone had the sought-after delayed toxicity against fire ants,″ he said.


WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. almond supplies are likely to be tight this year because of small stocks carried over from the previous year and lower production.

Almond production in 1993 is estimated at 520 million pounds shelled, down 5 percent from the previous year.

″If the 520-million-pound output is realized, supplies for the 1993-94 season would be tight for the second year in a row,″ said a report in this month’s Agricultural Outlook by the Agricultural Research Service.

″Sparse carryover stocks and continued robust demand could set the stage for a second consecutive year of strong prices,″ it said.

Grower prices were estimated at $1.30 a pound in 1992-93, up from $1.19 the year before.