Bust Dustand Indoor Insect Pests
By Linda McGraw
February 23, 2001
Two new dust-resistant traps
developed by Agricultural Research
Service scientists and cooperators will help target indoor insect problems
by using chemical lures to catch the pests.
Dust resistance is a key component to the new traps because dust often clogs
the chemical lures that attract insects. Keeping dust out makes the traps more
One trap discreetly de-bugs storage warehouses and food
processing facilities to help food manufacturers keep the goodwill of their
customers. ARS entomologists Michael A. Mullen and Alan K. Dowdy in Manhattan,
Kan., developed the trap that is baited with an insect lure called a pheromone.
The trap can be placed out of sight under shelves in retail stores, warehouses,
food processing facilities and home pantries. Developed in cooperation with
Trece, Inc. of Salinas, Calif., the trap
will soon be sold commercially under the name Discreet Trap.
Because it cant be seen by consumers, the Discreet Trap is
expected to increase the use of monitoring devices in retail areas and, at the
same time, reduce the need for pesticides by pinpointing infestations,
according to Mullen, based at ARS Grain Marketing and Production Research
Center in Manhattan.
Mullen and Oklahoma State University
scientists developed the second trap by adding dust resistance to an existing
trap. They modified the FLITe TRA--developed and patented by Mullen in 1992--by
adding a dust cover. This trap is being marketed by Trece under the name
Food products most often become infested with insects while stored in
warehouses. Pheromone-baited traps allow warehouse and food processing managers
to make better management decisions about the timing and targeting of control
practices. These include heat treatments, sanitation and crack-and-crevice
sprays. These controls can be more cost-effective and have a smaller
environmental impact than widespread use of conventional insecticides.
This research is important because food manufacturers are under increasing
restrictions for using pesticides, but they still need to keep packaged foods
insect-free until consumed.
ARS is the chief scientific research agency in the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Scientific contact: Michael Mullen, ARS Grain Marketing and
Production Research Center, Manhattan, Kan., phone (785) 776-2782, fax (785)