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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Potential of a Corn Flour/sugar Adjuvant to Enhance Efficacy of Caffeine Used As a Foliar Treatment Against Slug and Snail Pests.

item Hollingsworth, Robert
item Behle, Robert
item Wolffe, Carrie

Submitted to: Slugs & Snails: Agricultural, Veterinary & Environmental Perspectives Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 14, 2003
Publication Date: October 1, 2003
Citation: Hollingsworth, R.G., Behle, R.W., Wolffe, C.E. 2003. The potential of a corn flour/sugar adjuvant to enhance efficacy of caffeine used as a foliar treatment against slug and snail pests. Proceedings of the symposium in UK, Slugs & Snails: Agricultural, Veterinary & Environmental Perspectives, Sept. 8-9, 2003.

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.

Technical Abstract: Our research has shown that caffeine acts as both a toxicant and repellent when used against slugs and snails. We tested a corn flour/sugar mixture at 4% a.i. (w/v) as an adjuvant for enhancing the effectiveness and water resistance of caffeine applied to foliage. Test solutions were applied to cabbage leaves exposed to slugs (Veronicella cubensis (Pfeiffer)) in no-choice leaf-dip tests and in field tests. Cabbage leaves dipped in caffeine solutions containing the adjuvent were fed upon less by slugs, had more uniform deposition of caffiene crystals, and did not become as yellow over a 4-d period as did leaves dipped in ordinary caffeine solutions. Relative to the control, feeding by slugs on leaves treated with 1% caffeine (no adjuvant) and 1% caffeine with adjuvant was reduced by an average of 74% and 83%, respectively. When leaves from these treatments were re-dipped in water after drying, feeding reductions were 8% and 42% respectively. In a garden plot, slugs were found less frequently on cabbage plants sprayed with 2% caffeine + adjuvant than on untreated plants. However, the effect was greater when the treatment was applied to all of the plants in an area instead of treating individual plants scattered among untreated plants..

Last Modified: 5/5/2015
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