The current method for maintaining most insects used in control programs
is by continuous culture. The ability to place insects in storage, such
as those insects used in large-scale release projects, provides program
managers with the means to eliminate the costs of continuously rearing
back-up and founder strains and strains selected for special characteristics.
For researchers generating numerous insect stocks while investigating
molecular and traditional genetic techniques, storage methodology also
furnishes a means to reduce rearing costs, eliminate cross-contamination
of strains, and prevent catastrophic loss.
Increasing insect shelf-life can also benefit area-wide control programs.
IPM programs often involve complex strategies where the release of mass-produced
insects needs to be precisely timed.
Using storage technology, insect availability to consumers can be improved
by synchronizing a specific developmental stage for peak release and provide
flexibility and efficiency in shipping insects to the release site.
For long-term storage, the use of embryo and germ cell preservation in
liquid nitrogen are the methods of choice.
For short storage periods, preservation of large numbers of insects, and
banking of post embryonic stages, placing insects in some type of dormant
state is indicated.