Monarch culture problems

James J. Kruse kruse at
Mon May 5 13:05:40 EDT 1997

On Sun, 4 May 1997 Insectadv at AOL.COM wrote:

> Not knowing what state you are in.  There are several states in the East that
> are wholesale spraying "Bacillus thuringiensis" to try and control the gypsy
> moth problem,  the product is also being used by some states and county
> vector control groups to control mosquito.
> Insect Adventures

As I recall, the monarch culture problem was with adults. In a nutshell,  
Bt affects the digestive system of LARVAE by cutting it up with crystals.
There are different Bt strains targeting Leps, Diptera, and Coleoptera,
and sometimes combinations.  It is HIGHLY unlikely that Bt would be
affecting adults in the manner described.

I am far from a Bt proponent, but if we are going to be angry about Bt
useage, lets be angry for the "right" reasons and not perpetuate rumor!

Also, I have had cultures fail for years before Bt came along, and now it
seems to be the only possible reason for failure! 

Jim Kruse
University of California at Berkeley
Dept. of Environ Sci, Policy and Mgmt.
Div. of Insect Biology
Sperling Lab
201 Wellman Hall
Berkeley, California, 94720-3113
(510) 642-5114

More information about the Leps-l mailing list