Potential use of ethyl formate treatment to control surface pests of "Hass" avocado fruit


  • Paul P.B. Pidakala Plant & Food Research
  • Reuben T. Wilkinson Plant & Food Research
  • Agam Nangul
  • Dominic E. Hartnett Plant & Food Research
  • Natalie E.M. Page-Weir Plant & Food Research
  • Amanda J. Hawthorne Plant & Food Research
  • Lisa E. Jamieson Plant & Food Research
  • Allan B. Woolf Plant & Food Research




Ethyl formate (EF) is a Generally Recognised As Safe (GRAS) alternative to methyl bromide, with potential to control surface pests on New Zealand avocados before export. "Hass" avocados, two-spotted spider mites (TSM) and oleander scale (OS) insects were fumigated with 1.2% EF (240 g VAPORMATE™/m3) at 6 °C for 1, 2 or 4 h. Fruit were then stored at 5 °C for 3 weeks before external and internal fruit quality assessment. Survival of pest species was assessed 1 or 7 days later. Fumigation with 1.2% EF + 10% CO2 for 2 or 4 h controlled all life stages of non-diapausing TSM and all life stages of OS, apart from crawlers (0.3-0.7% survivorship). Diapausing TSM were harder to control (17% ± 4.8% mortality; 4-h treatment). Ethyl formate treatment resulted in damage to avocado skins (41% ± 5.3% – 91% ± 2.0%), and an increase in vascular browning and rots. The EF fumigations of avocado fruit at doses used here have potential to control non-diapausing mites and scale insects, but treated fruit were of unacceptable quality. Future studies could examine whether prior cool storage could reduce fruit damage.




How to Cite

Pidakala, P.P., Wilkinson, R.T., Nangul, A., Hartnett, D.E., Page-Weir, N.E., Hawthorne, A.J., Jamieson, L.E. and Woolf, A.B. 2018. Potential use of ethyl formate treatment to control surface pests of "Hass" avocado fruit. New Zealand Plant Protection. 71, (Jul. 2018), 121–128. DOI:https://doi.org/10.30843/nzpp.2018.71.135.




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