Efficacy of Vapam (metam-sodium) against pink ground pearl, Eumargarodes laingi Jakubski (Hemiptera: Margarodidae), in sugarcane

P.R. SamsonA and W.J. Harris, Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations, PO Box 651, Bundaberg, Queensland 4670, Australia.

A Present address: Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations, PMB 57, Mackay Mail Centre, Queensland 4741, Australia.


The liquid soil fumigant Vapam (metam-sodium) was investigated for control of pink ground pearl, Eumargarodes laingi, in sugarcane. Vapam drenched into pots at the equivalent of 125 L ha-1 killed almost all cysts of pink ground pearl. In field trials, Vapam injected into soil at 250-500 L ha-1 before planting consistently reduced pearl numbers in the first year after application on two soil types. Control of up to 85% was achieved in a sandy soil. In red volcanic clay (the more usual habitat), population reductions of 50-70% were achieved. Treated populations of pink ground pearl recovered within two years post-treatment in ratoon crops, so Vapam alone will not provide long-term control using current application methods. However, it may be useful in combination with resistant sugarcane varieties that maintain populations at low levels.


Plant Protection Quarterly (1999) 14 (1) 35-37.