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Pest Control in French North Africa

Nature volume 154, page 636 (18 November 1944) | Download Citation



A RECENT publication ("Les Nouvelles Méthodes Insecticides et Les Épidémies." By Dr. A. L. Lepigre. Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientinque, Algiers) describes what is being done to reduce losses at the ports, in the marshalling yards and in the agricultural depots in French North Africa, resulting from infestation by insects and rats. The loss of potatoes caused by the tuber moth is stated to exceed 50 per cent within three months of harvesting, most of which loss is preventable by fumigation. Dr. A. L. Lepigre, whose pioneer work on the fumigants ethylene oxide and methyl bromide is well known, describes the fumigants and methods now in use in the eight large official stations for désinsectisation in Algiers, and the possibility of using vacuum and mobile chambers. Ethylene oxide, hydrogen cyanide and methyl bromide are recommended; but it seems that ethylene oxide is not available in Algiers at present. Chlorpicrin, once highly favoured by the French authorities, is described as being too unpleasant. A brief account of these fumigants is given, and special interest is attached to the statement that ethylene oxide is bactericidal as well as insecticidal, and as such is probably more effective than formalin or sulphur dioxide.

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