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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Stored Product Insect Research Unit

2010 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
This project proposes to develop better tools to monitor insect populations; to improve IPM strategies for managing insects in stored grain, food processing facilities, and warehouses; to investigate the dispersal patterns that insects utilize to avoid treatments and to reinfest facilities; and to conduct investigations on emerging pests. The primary goal of the research is to reduce losses in quality to grain and grain products caused by insects. To achieve this goal, the following research objectives will be investigated:.
1)improve methods for detecting insects in raw grain and other products by determining the critical factors that affect trap catch, and the relationship between trap catch and actual level of product infestation;.
2)determine how the spatial distribution and population structure of stored-product insects inside and outside processing facilities before, during, and after control treatments affects re-infestation potential;.
3)develop models that predict insect population growth in grain processing facilities and warehouses, and use the models to investigate optimal IPM strategies; and.
4)determine the prevalence and pest potential of psocids and grain mites in stored grain, processing, and warehouse facilities, and conduct ecological studies on those emerging pests that prove to be economically important to implement monitoring and control strategies.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Laboratory and field experiments will be conducted to improve insect detection, sampling, and monitoring techniques in raw grain, grain processing facilities, and warehouses. We will improve interpretation of pheromone monitoring programs by determining the important factors that influence trap capture of walking beetles in grain processing facilities and warehouses, and optimize the accuracy of pheromone traps in locating red flour beetle infestation sources. We will characterize the factors responsible for pest resurgence after fumigation or other treatments; determine how spatial distributions of insect pests change before, during, and after control treatments; evaluate how long-term population dynamics of stored-product pests influences pest resurgence following treatment; and assess the potential for pests to survive in food residues and to avoid treated areas during or after control treatments. We will develop computer simulation models for insect pests of grain processing facilities and warehouses, and use these models to optimize monitoring and management strategies. Spatial simulation models will be developed for the red flour beetle, warehouse beetle, and Indianmeal moth. We will investigate the ecology and potential economic impact of emerging pest species, such as psocids and grain mites. Determine the prevalence of these pests in grain storages and mills and develop monitoring and control strategies for species that prove to be economically important.

3.Progress Report
This is a bridging project for project 5430-43000-027-00D that was terminated this year. The replacement project is currently in peer review and will be implemented in FY 2011. In laboratory studies, more beetles were captured in traps with black backgrounds than those with white backgrounds, suggesting that trap effectiveness could be increased by adding a black background to the walls behind the trap. Understanding how red flour beetle captures are impacted by the environment in which the trap is placed will help improve the interpretation of monitoring programs for the food industry. The preoviposition period, oviposition, and postoviposition periods, and longevity of the psocid Lepinotus reticulatus were determined at temperatures from 72.5 to 95 degrees F. This information can be used in simulation models to predict L. reticulatus population dynamics and to improve pest management strategies.

1. Changing the background color behind a pheromone trap increases red flour beetle response. Monitoring of the red flour beetle, a major pest of food processing and storage facilities, often relies on traps with chemical cues such as pheromones and food, but response of red flour beetles to these traps is not very great. An ARS scientist in Manhattan, KS, with university collaborators, investigated if adding visual cues could increase captures in traps. In laboratory studies, beetles were demonstrated to respond to tall black shapes and more beetles were captured in traps with black backgrounds than those with white backgrounds. These findings suggest that trap effectiveness could be increased using a relatively simple and inexpensive modification of the walls behind the trap, although evaluation of the increase in more complex environments inside food facilities is still needed.

2. Reproduction of the parthenogenetic psocid Lepinotus reticulatus. Psocids, which are minute insects that are often called booklice, are pests in grain storages, grain processing facilities, and product warehouses in the United States and many other countries. A little studied psocid species, Lepinotus reticulatus, is a pest of stored commodities throughout the world. Development of an effective pest management program for L. reticulatus is dependent on having sound knowledge of its biology and population dynamics. We determined preoviposition period (number of days before adult females start laying eggs), oviposition period (number of days that adult females lay eggs), fecundity (number of eggs laid per female), postoviposition period (number of days after adult females stop laying eggs and before they die), and longevity (adult life span) of this psocid at temperatures from 72.5 to 95 degrees F. This information will assist in developing simulation models to predict L. reticulatus population dynamics and to improve pest management strategies.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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