Frank Arthur received his Ph.D. in Entomology from North Carolina State University in December 1985. He joined the staff of the Stored Product Insects Research and Development Laboratory at Savannah, GA in March 1986, and was transferred to the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research upon closure of the Savannah Laboratory in November 1994. He is responsible for developing applied research programs for insect pest management in stored cereal grains and processed food warehouses. Previous studies have included pesticide degradation on stored commodities, residual efficacy of insecticides applied to different substrates, evaluation of new chemicals for use in post-harvest environments, and expanded use of aeration to control insect pests in stored grains. Current research interests are the development of aeration management strategies for crops stored in different geographic regions, evaluation of microbial pathogens for use in raw grains or on surface substrates, identification of physical and environmental factors that affect the efficacy of residual insecticides, and simulated field studies involving chemical and non-chemical controls. Research projects often involve cooperative efforts with private industry, other entomologists at the Manhattan laboratory, research and extension entomologists at various state universities, and biologists associated with the U. S. Military.
Current Research Projects
Insect Pest Management for Flour Mills: Residual Efficacy of Aerosols
With the impending phase-out of the fumigant Methyl Bromide, the wheat industry is expanding the use of aerosol insecticides for insect pest management in milling facilities. Combinations of pyrethrin combined with the insect growth regulator (IGR) methoprene (Diacon II®) are often used to control the red flour beetle (RFB) and the confused flour beetle (CFB), two common stored-product pest insects in wheat mills throughout the USA. Insect growth regulators affect molting and development of immature insects, but generally do not kill adults, hence they are often combined with an insecticide that will kill adults.
Even though the RFB and CFB are similar in size and appearance they usually vary in susceptibility to insecticides. There is little information on how long the residues from an aerosol application will give control of either of these two important pest species. We placed wheat flour or one of seven packaging materials inside a flour mill, and then exposed these materials to commercial aerosol formulations containing either 1% or 3% pyrethrin with the same amount of Diacon II®. We removed the treated flour and packaging materials and held them for 16 weeks in the laboratory. Every two weeks for 16 weeks, we put larvae of each species on different sets of the exposed flour and the exposed packaging materials (with flour), and then determined if larvae could reach the adult stage.
Both formulations gave complete control of RFB on the flour and on the packaging materials for 16 weeks, but the formulations were less effective against the CFB because more CFB larvae were able to reach the adult stage compared to the RFB. Increasing the pyrethrin concentration from 1% to 3% did lead to a reduction in the number of CFB adults, indicating that there may have been an interaction between the pyrethrin and the Diacon II® components of the formulation. However, the residual efficacy is largely due to the presence of the IGR. In addition, results from other studies with Diacon II® used as a residual surface treatment, and results of studies with the IGRs hydroprene (Gentrol®) and pyriproxyfen (NyGuard®), indicate that the RFB is more susceptible than the CFB. Since both the RFB and CFB can infest flour mills, species identification is important when IGRs are being used for insect control.
Directional Flow of Aeration to Manage Insect Pests in Stored Wheat
Using low-volume ambient air to cool stored grain is a common management practice in the southern plains, but little research has been done recently to determine if the direction of airflow makes a difference regarding the cooling and insect pest populations. We conducted a 2-year study at the USDA ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (CGAHR), using 1,000 bushel metal storage bins filled with wheat. We evaluated suction aeration, pulling air downward through the grain mass, as compared to pressure aeration, the standard strategy of pushing cool air upward through the grain mass. Results were consistent each of the two years and showed that temperatures on the upper surface of the grain mass were consistently cooler with suction aeration than with pressure aeration. The resulting insect pest populations were also generally lower in the bins with suction versus pressure aeration. Our results indicated that using suction aeration would cool the upper surface zone of the grain mass, which is vulnerable to insect infestation, and could reduce the need for additional pesticide inputs through this reduction in pest pressure.
The results of the previous study are promising and warrant further investigation in larger bins. A new study has been initiated to examine temperature gradients in the headspace zone of wheat storage bins with pressure versus suction aeration, and to determine the extent of the interactions between the headspace temperatures and those in the upper surface zone of the bulk grain mass. Studies are being conducted at the CGAHR, this time using 4,000 bushel bins. The first year has been completed, and results are similar to the earlier study in that more insects are found in the bins with pressure aeration compared to the bins with suction aeration. Headspace temperature patterns are different with the two aeration methods, and even with the larger bins the surface zone of the wheat appears to be cooler with suction aeration compared to pressure aeration.
- Assessing effects of esfenvalerate aerosol applications on resident populations of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), the red flour beetle, through direct and indirect sampling
- Aerosol insecticides are used to control red flour beetles in flour mills, but there is little information on how these aerosols affect resident beetle populations. We conducted studies by placing food (flour) containing different life stages of beetles underneath metal shelves inside small sheds. The sheds were either untreated or sprayed every 2 or 4 weeks with the labeled rate of the pesticide esfenvalerate, trade name Conquer. The aerosol treatments did not affect the population development in the flour. However, there were more dead beetles in the treatments compared to the controls, and more live beetles in pheromone traps in the controls compared to the treatments. Results show that although the aerosol applications reduced overall insect numbers, the presence of available food material allowed for continued population development.
- Distribution, abundance, and seasonal patterns of Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) in a commercial food storage facility
- The Indianmeal moth is a major pest of stored food products, but there are few studies where resident populations have been monitored for more than one year in commercial facilities. We monitored Indianmeal moth populations inside a food warehouse for three years using an attractant for male moths. The focal points of infestation shifted during the storage period, but moths were consistently trapped in certain locations. Also, we caught moths in traps that were in places where no food was stored. In general, more moths were caught during the summer months compared to the remainder of the year. Cost estimates for the monitoring program were calculated using values provided by private industry. We used these values to show how reducing the number of traps could provide information on infestation trends while lowering the costs associated with insect monitoring. Results show the importance of monitoring for Indianmeal moths, but also emphasize the dynamic nature of insect infestations inside an active warehouse.
- Susceptibility of stored-product psocids to aerosol insecticides
- Psocids (insects which are also called booklice) are pests of stored grains and grain products in most of the world, and they have natural tolerance to some of the insecticides used for control of other stored-product insect pests, such as beetles and moths. Aerosol insecticides are used in flour mills and warehouses to control beetle and moth pests, but their effect on psocids pests needs to be determined. We evaluated two commonly used aerosol insecticides, methoprene and esfenvalerate, applied alone and in combination for control of four species of stored-product psocid pests. The greatest mortality of psocids attained was 76% for immature psocids and 62% for adult psocids, indicating that the aerosols did not provide effective control of the tested psocid species. This study shows that psocids may be tolerant to these aerosol insecticides when applied at rates that are normally effective for control of other stored-product insect pests. This information will help pest managers choose appropriate control strategies for psocid pests.
- Using a population growth model to simulate response of Plodia interpunctella Hubner populations to timing ay of insecticide treatments
- Insecticides are used to suppress populations of insects in stored commodities, but it is difficult to determine longterm impact of different insecticide application strategies on insect population growth. We developed a computer model that simulates population growth of the Indianmeal moth, a major pest of stored grains and dried fruits, and we used the model to simulate the impact of timing and frequency of applications of different types of insecticides on long-term growth of Indianmeal moth populations. The most effective strategy tested for controlling Indianmeal moth populations was the use of biweekly applications of insecticide. The results will help pest managers in the food industry make sound management decisions.
- Effect of methoprene on the progeny production of Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)
- Insect growth regulators (IGRs) affect growth and development of immature insects, and may also produce sub-lethal effects such as a reduction in number of eggs laid by adults. In this test, larvae and adults of the red flour beetle, a major pest of stored products, were exposed on wheat treated with the IGR methoprene. Exposure of adults produced little effect on subsequent reproduction of those adults. However, male larvae that were exposed to the treated wheat were more susceptible than female larvae with generally lower adult emergence in exposed male larvae compared to exposed female larvae. In addition, males that survived to the adult stage and were paired with unexposed females generally produced fewer offspring than unexposed males paired with unexposed females. Results show that sub-lethal effects caused by an IGR could contribute to overall population reductions from insecticidal treatments.
- Food source provisioning and susceptibility of immature and adult Tribolium castaneum on concrete partially treated with chlorfenapyr (Phantom®)
- A new insecticide, Phantom®, will kill the red flour beetle, a major pest of stored products, but there is no information on how well it will work when food is present. We exposed adult red flour beetles, and also larvae and pupae, on a concrete surface that was partially treated with Phantom®. Food (flour) was put in the untreated area of the concrete. Some adults were able to escape insecticide exposure and lay eggs in the flour. Larvae were more susceptible than adults and usually died before they could reach the adult stage, even if they reached the flour. Residual control of larvae lasted for several weeks. Results show mobile adults could escape exposure to Phantom®, but the larvae could not and were therefore more susceptible to the insecticide.
- Efficacy of Aerosols for Managing the Red Flour Beetle
- Pest management professionals commonly utilize aerosolized liquid applications, also known as fogging, for management of stored-product insects including the red flour beetle.These applications are part of a potential methyl bromide replacement technology because they may increase the time interval between structural fumigations or heat treatments. The objectives of this study were to examine influence of flour accumulation, exposure location, life stage, and insecticide on the efficacy of aerosol applications. Data show that aerosolized insecticide applications in dishes without food residues placed in the open produced the highest red flour beetle mortality. Conversely, mortality significantly decreased with food and exposure under pallets.
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) News
- Magazine Articles
- Fighting Insect Pests of Stored Foods
- News, Miscellaneous
- Hydroprene--Tool For Fending Off Packaged-Food Pests
- Protecting Perishables From Package Pests
- Natural Product Helps Insects “Bite the Dust”
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H., J.F. Campbell, and M.D. Toews. 2013. Distribution, abundance, and seasonal patterns of Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) in a commercial food storage facility. J. Stored Prod. Res. 53: 7-14. |
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H., J.F. Campbell, E.A. Fontenot, and M.D. Toews. 2013. Assessing effects of esfenvalerate aerosol applications on resident populations of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), the red flour beetle, through direct and indirect sampling. J. Stored Prod. Res. 53: 1-6. |
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H. 2012. Aerosols and contact insecticides as alternatives to methyl bromide in flour mills, processing plants, and food warehouses. J. Pest Sci. 85: 323-329. |
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H. 2012. Lethal and sub-lethal effects from short-term exposure of Rhyzopertha dominica on wheat treated with Storicide II®. J. Pest Sci. 85: 261-265. |
| ||Arthur, F.H., and B. Subramanyam. 2012. Chemical control in stored products, p. 95-100. In Hagstrum, D.W., T.W. Phillips, and G. Cuperus (eds.). Stored Product Protection. Kansas State University S156, Manhattan, KS. |
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H., and E.A. Fontenot. 2012. Residual activity of methoprene and novaluron as surface treatments to manage the flour beetles, Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum. J. Insect Sci. 12(95), 11 pp.|
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H., and E.A. Fontenot. 2012. Food source provisioning and susceptibility of immature and adult Tribolium castaneum on concrete partially treated with chlorfenapyr (Phantom®). J. Pest Sci. 85: 277-282. |
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H., G.O. Ondier, and T.J. Siebenmorgen. 2012. Impact of Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) on quality parameters of milled rice. J. Stored Prod. Res. 48: 137-142. |
| PDF ||Fontenot, E.A., F.H. Arthur, J.R. Nechols, and J.E Throne. 2012. Using a population growth model to simulate response of Plodia interpunctella Hübner to temperature and diet. J. Pest Sci. 85: 163-167. |
| PDF ||Fontenot, E.A., F.H. Arthur, J.R. Nechols, and J.E. Throne. 2012. Using a population growth model to simulate response of Plodia interpunctella Hübner populations to timing and frequency of insecticide treatments, 8 p. J. Pest Sci. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10340-012-0436-z |
| ||Grieshop, M.J., T. Rogers, and F.H. Arthur. 2012. Organic approaches and regulations for stored product pest management, p. 233-242. In Hagstrum, D.W., T.W. Phillips, and G. Cuperus (eds.). Stored Product Protection. Kansas State University S156, Manhattan, KS. |
| PDF ||Kavallieratos, N.G., C.G. Athanassiou, F.H. Arthur, and J.E. Throne. 2012. Lesser grain borers, Rhyzopertha dominica, select rough rice kernels with cracked hulls for reproduction. J. Insect Sci. 12(38), 7 pp. |
| ||Navarro, S., R.T. Noyes, M. Casada, and F.H. Arthur. 2012. Grain aeration, pp. 121-134. In Hagstrum, D.W., T.W. Phillips, and G. Cuperus (eds.). Stored Product Protection. Kansas State University S156, Manhattan, KS. |
| PDF ||Opit, G.P., F.H. Arthur, J.E. Throne, and M.E. Payton. 2012. Susceptibility of stored-product psocids to aerosol insecticides. J. Insect Sci. 12(139), 14pp. |
| PDF ||Wijayaratne, L.K.W., P.G. Fields, and F.H. Arthur. 2012. Residual efficacy of methoprene for control of Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) larvae at different temperatures on varnished wood, concrete, and wheat. J. Econ. Entomol. 105: 718-725. |
| PDF ||Wijayaratne, L.K.W., P.G. Fields, and F.H. Arthur. 2012. Effect of methoprene on the progeny production of Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Pest Manag. Sci. 68: 217-224. |
| ||Arthur, F.H. 2011. Stored product entomology: Shifting from the past to the future, pp. 3-6. In Athanassiou, C.G., C. Adler, and P. Trematerra (eds.). Proceedings for the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control of Noxious Animals and Plants West Palaearctic Region Section Working Group on Integrated Protection of Stored Products, June 29-July 2, 2009, Campobasso, Italy. IOBC/WPRS Bulletin 69. |
| ||Arthur, F.H., and T.W. Phillips. 2011. Residual efficacy of the insect growth regulator pyriproxyfen for control of stored product insects, pp. 379-383. In Athanassiou, C.G., C. Adler, and P. Trematerra (eds.). Proceedings for the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control of Noxious Animals and Plants West Palaearctic Region Section Working Group on Integrated Protection of Stored Products, June 29-July 2, 2009, Campobasso, Italy. IOBC/WPRS Bulletin 69. |
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H., E.A. Fontenot, and J.F. Campbell. 2011. Evaluation of catmint oil and hydrogenated catmint oil as repellents for the flour beetles, Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum. J. Insect Sci. 11(128), 9 pp.|
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H., Y. Yang and L.T. Wilson. 2011. Use of a web-based model for aeration management in stored rough rice. J. Econ. Entomol. 104: 702-708. |
| PDF ||Athanassiou, C.G., F.H. Arthur, and J.E. Throne. 2011. Efficacy of layer treatment with methoprene for control of Rhyzopertha dominica (Coleoptera: Bostrychidae) on wheat, rice and maize. Pest Manag. Sci. 67: 380-384. |
| PDF ||Athanassiou, C.G., F.H. Arthur, N.G. Kavallieratos, and J.E. Throne. 2011. Efficacy of pyriproxyfen for control of stored-product psocids (Psocoptera) on concrete surfaces. J. Econ. Entomol. 104: 1765-1769. |
| PDF ||Athanassiou, C.G., F.H. Arthur, N.G. Kavallieratos, and J.E. Throne. 2011. Efficacy of spinosad and methoprene, applied alone or in combination, against six stored-product insect species. J. Pest Sci. 84: 61-67. |
| PDF ||Opit, G.P., F.H. Arthur, E.L. Bonjour, C.L. Jones, and T.W. Phillips. 2011. Efficacy of heat treatment for disinfestation of concrete grain silos. J. Econ. Entomol. 104: 1416-1422. |
| PDF ||Sutton, A.E., F.H. Arthur, K.Y. Zhu, J.F. Campbell, and L.W. Murray. 2011. Residual efficacy of synergized pyrethrin + methoprene aerosol against larvae of Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). J. Stored Prod. Res. 47: 399-406. |
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H. 2010. Stored product entomology in the United States: perspectives for the future. Am. Entomol. 56: 218-220. |
| ||Arthur, F.H. 2010. Residual efficacy of aerosols to control Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum. In M.O. Carvalho et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection, 27 June to 2 July 2010, Estoril, Portugal. Julius Kühn-Institut, Berlin, Germany. pp. 789-792. (Link to article *)|
| PDF ||Arthur, F.H., and M.E. Casada. 2010. Directional flow of summer aeration to manage insect pests in stored wheat. Appl. Eng. Agric. 26: 115-122. |
| PDF ||Athanassiou, C.G., F.H. Arthur, and J.E. Throne. 2010. Efficacy of methoprene for control of five species of psocids (Psocoptera) on wheat, rice, and maize. J. Food Prot. 73: 2244-2249. |
| PDF ||Athanassiou, C.G., F.H. Arthur, and J.E. Throne. 2010. Effects of short exposures to spinosad-treated wheat or maize on four stored-grain insects. J. Econ. Entomol. 103: 197-202. |
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