Topical and vapor toxicity of saturated fatty acids to the German Cockroach (Dictyoptera: Blattellidae)

Steven R. Sims, Rammohan R. Balusu, Esther N. Ngumbi, Arthur G. Appel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Topical and fumigant toxicity of saturated aliphatic fatty acids with chain lengths of C1 through C14 were determined against the German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.). In the C1 to C11 series, topical toxicity (LD 50 in milligram per adult male) ranged from 0.145 (C1) to 0.322 mg (C2). Toxicity declined dramatically with C12 and C14 acids whose LD 50 values could not be calculated. The relative fumigation toxicity (LC50 in microliter per liter) of C1 through C5 acids was positively correlated with topical toxicity with values ranging from 6.159 (C3) to 12.302 μl/liter (C2). Fumigant toxicity decreased sharply with C6 (LC50 = 37.691 μl/ liter) and there was no mortality of cockroaches exposed to vapors from C7 to C14 acids. The low fumigant toxicity of the C6 to C11 acids was correlated with their relatively low vapor pressure, but differences in diffusion of the vapors into the spiracles and subsequent passage to the target sites may have also been involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)758-763
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Fatty acid
  • Fumigation
  • German cockroach
  • Topical
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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