• diatomaceous earth;
  • Rhyzopertha dominica;
  • wheat;
  • barley;
  • oats;
  • rye;
  • triticale;
  • rice;
  • maize


Laboratory bioassays were carried out in order to evaluate the effectiveness of two diatomaceous earth (DE) formulations, Insecto and SilicoSec, against adults of Rhyzopertha dominica (F) in eight different grain commodities. The adherence of the two DEs to each grain was also measured. The eight grains tested were wheat, whole barley, peeled barley, oats, rye, triticale, rice and maize. These commodities were treated with the DEs at three rates, 0.75, 1.0 and 1.5 g DE kg−1 grain. The mortality of R dominica adults was measured after 24 h, 48 h, 7 days and 14 days of exposure in the treated grains at 26 °C and 55% RH. After the 14-day mortality count, all adults were removed and the treated grains retained under the same conditions for a further 60 days. The treated grains were subsequently examined for F1 progeny. Significant differences were recorded among the eight grain types as well as between the DE formulations tested. After 14 days of exposure, even at the lowest DE rate for both formulations, adult mortality was high (>90%) in wheat and triticale. In contrast, adult mortality was significantly lower in peeled barley. Increasing the rate improved the efficacy of the DEs significantly in only some of the grains tested. Reproductive capacity in all the treated grains was significantly suppressed when compared with untreated grains. Generally, more F1 individuals of R dominica were noted in the treated peeled barley than in the other commodities. Significant differences in the percentage of DE retention were noted among the eight grains. The highest retention level was noted in rice (>87%) and the lowest in maize (<6%). However, the degree of DE adherence to a given grain was not always indicative of the effectiveness of DE against R dominica. Copyright © 2005 Society of Chemical Industry