Killing Jars-Ethyl Acetate or Cyanide?

Liz Day lday at
Sun May 25 18:00:33 EDT 1997

>All of the books that I have; when explaining how to build killing jars,
>recomend cyanide, but say that ethyl acetate is an acceptable, though
>inferior substitute.  I have always used ethyl acetate and found it to be
>fairly slow.
>1. Does anyone actualy use cyanide?

Yes, lots of people use it.

>2. Is that much better than EA?

Well, it's faster and less messy.  You might not be allowed to take it
on airplanes or to other countries, though.  And if you have kids
around, I'd forget it.

>3. Is it available for purchase?

Obviously it is but I don't know where.  My guess would be a chemical
supply company that sells to commercial, university, and museum labs.
Like Sigma or somebody.  Calcium or potassium cyanide crystals.

>5. Should I be using it instead of EA?

See above.

The newer method is to buy those porous ceramic jar lids from BioQuip
(or wherever).  You put cyanide crystals in the lids and use the lid
with an empty jar.  You have to add a drop of water to the outside of
the lid if the air is dry.  I just used these on moths on a recent trip
and they work very quickly.

Liz Day
Indianapolis, Indiana, central USA, 40 N latitude.

"Nature I loved, and next to Nature, Art."

More information about the Leps-l mailing list