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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS TO REDUCE METHYL BROMIDE FUMIGATIONS FOR CONTROL OF INSECTS IN POSTHARVEST STRUCTURES

Location: Stored Product Insect Research Unit

Title: Movement of Tribolium castaneum within a flour mill

Authors
item Semeao, Altair -
item Campbell, James
item Whitworth, R. Jeff -
item Sloderbeck, Phillip -

Submitted to: Journal of Stored Products Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2013
Publication Date: May 5, 2013
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/56703
Citation: Semeao, A.A., Campbell, J.F., Whitworth, R., Sloderbeck, P.E. 2013. Movement of Tribolium castaneum within a flour mill. Journal of Stored Products Research. 54: 17-22. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.106/j.jspr.2013.03.004.

Interpretive Summary: Understanding the movement patterns of stored-product insect pests within a food processing or storage facility is important in terms of identifying and targeting pest management at sources of infestation and determining the potential to avoid pest management tactics. In this case study, we demonstrated using a mark-recapture technique that the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, was able to move among floors within a flour mill, but the majority (86%) of beetles were recovered on the same floor on which they were marked. For individuals that moved to a different floor, most moved downward (70%) and typically only to an adjacent floor (87%). Use of heat treatments to disinfest structures is an important pest management tool, but insects have the ability to move away from unfavorable temperatures. During a heat treatment of the mill there was an increase in the number of beetles captured, indicating increased movement, but there was not an increase in movement of marked beetles between floors. These results suggest that the rate of heating was sufficient to not allow the beetles time to move to cooler floors and escape the treatment. Results of this study indicate that red flour beetles are mobile enough that sources on other floors need to be considered in making pest management decisions.

Technical Abstract: The colonization of food processing plants by stored-product pests and their distribution within a facility depend, in part, on their dispersal ability. In this case study, we relied on self-mark recapture to evaluate the ability of Tribolium castaneum, the red flour beetle, to move among floors within a flour mill and the effects of a heat treatment on insect activity. Marking stations with pheromone and fluorescent powder were placed on each of five floors in the mill, and two techniques were used to recover marked individuals (trapping and direct collection of individuals from the floor). Considering both recovery techniques, T. castaneum was able to move among floors, but the majority of individuals remained on the same floor where they were marked (86%). Most individuals captured on a different floor were captured on a floor below the one they were marked (70%) and adjacent to it (87%). There was a spike in the number of beetles captured during heat treatment, but not an increase in movement of marked beetles between floors. These results suggest that the rate of heating was sufficient to prevent beetles time to move to cooler floors to escape heat. T. castaneum movement among floors needs to be taken into account when identifying sources of infestation and targeting pest management.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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