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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Response of Oryzaephilus Surinamensis (Coleoptera: Silvanidae) to Food Odor Emanating Through Consumer Packaging Films

Authors
item Esquivel, Sharon
item CAMPBELL, JAMES
item Mullen, Michael
item Broce, Alberto - KANSAS STATE UNIV

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 16, 2003
Publication Date: February 1, 2004
Citation: MOWERY, S.V., CAMPBELL, J.F., MULLEN, M.A., BROCE, A.B. RESPONSE OF ORYZAEPHILUS SURINAMENSIS (COLEOPTERA: SILVANIDAE), TO FOOD ODOR EMANATING THROUGH CONSUMER PACKAGING FILMS. ENVIRONMENTAL ENTOMOLOGY 33: 75-80. 2004.

Interpretive Summary: The sawtoothed grain beetle is an important pest of many packaged food products, yet little is known of its behavioral response to food odors. Adults and larvae are not believed to chew holes through packaging materials, but they may enter packaged food in many ways including through openings caused by improper sealing or handling, through holes intentionally placed in packages by the manufacturer, or through openings made by insects or other organisms. To better explain the mechanism of infestation of packaged foods by the sawtoothed grain beetle, we determined that the food odor coming through the surface and through holes in consumer food packaging materials caused female beetles to spend more time in the area of these imperfections. This study shows the importance of developing improved package designs and better sealing and handling methods to prevent flaws in packaging through which insects may enter.

Technical Abstract: The sawtoothed grain beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.), is an important pest of packaged consumer foods, yet little is known of its behavioral response to food odors. Adults and larvae are not believed to chew holes through packaging materials, but they may enter packaged food in many ways including through openings caused by improper sealing or handling, through holes intentionally placed in packages by the manufacturer, or through openings made by insects or other organisms. To better understand the mechanism of infestation of packaged foods by the sawtoothed grain beetle, we determined how food odor coming through the surface and through holes in consumer food packaging materials influence female sawtoothed grain beetle movement. Mated female beetles responded with an area concentrated search to the odor of dog food emitted from 0.5 mm diam holes punctured in two commonly used food packaging materials, Cello and 120 AB-X. Holes emitting no food odor did not influence beetle behavior, but differences existed in beetle movement between packaging materials indicating food odors may come through the film surface. This study indicates the necessity for improved packaging designs and better sealing and handling methods to prevent flaws in packaging through which insects may enter.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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