Experiments with arsenites

Gillette, C.
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Paris green was brought into prominence as an insecticide for the first time in this country in 1869 and London purple in 1877. Arsenious acid (white arsenic) was successfully used for the destruction of the Canker-worm as early as 1875 and is still frequently recommended for the destruction of insects. During these years the arsenites have arisen to the first rank as insect destroyers. They have been largely experimented with by entomologists and widely used by farmers and fruit-growers, and yet there is much difference of opinion as to the proportions in which each may be safely applied to different plants for the destruction of insects. In fact a serious obstacle in the way of a more free and successful use of the arsenites has been their liability to injure tender foliage; even when applied very dilute. In the experiments of the past two seasons, herein reported, I have given much attention to the finding of some method of applying these poisons so as to prevent injury to foliage without lessening their effectiveness in destroying insect life, and the success met with in this direction has been most gratifying. I also give the results of experiments to determine relative injuries to foliage from applications of the arsenites when freshly mixed and when allowed to stand a few days before being applied; to show the effect upon foliage by adding paste or soap to arsenical mixtures; to show the effects of sun, dew and rain upon foliage treated with arsenical mixtures; to show whether or not it is practical and safe, so far as injury to the plant is concerned, to mix the arsenites with insecticides that kill by external contact; and to show the effects of combining the arsenites with fungicides.