Location: Stored Product Insect Research Unit
Title: Evaluating Treatment Efficacy in Commercial Food Facilities: Insights Gained from Small-Scale Simulated Warehouse Experiments Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 30, 2007
Publication Date: May 15, 2009
Citation: Campbell, J.F., Toews, M.D., Arthur, F.H. 2009. Evaluating Treatment Efficacy in Commercial Food Facilities: Insights Gained from Small-Scale Simulated Warehouse Experiments. In: S. Navarro, C. Adler, and L.S. Hansen (eds.), Proceedings of the International Organisation for Biological and Integrated Control, Paleartic Region Section Working Group on Integrated Protection of Stored Products, Poznan, Poland, August 20-23, 2007. IOBC/WPRS Bulletin 40: 75-83. Technical Abstract: Although critical to a successful IPM program, it is challenging to evaluate treatment efficacy in commercial food facilities because of the inability to obtain absolute estimates of insect population levels. These populations are spatially fragmented and occupy cryptic habitats, such as equipment, packages, and the structure of buildings, that cannot be identified and sampled for practical and economical reasons. This leads to a number of important questions including (1) what impact are treatments such as surface, crack and crevice, or aerosol applications having on pest population dynamics, (2) how does application method impact suppression of established infestations and reduction of new infestations, and (3) how well do pheromone traps that indirectly sample from dispersing individuals represent the absolute population density and subsequent changes as a result of the treatment. While these questions cannot be accurately addressed in commercial facilities, they can be explored in small-scale simulated warehouses where resource amounts and distribution, and initial pest density, can be controlled and refugia can be directly sampled to estimate absolute population levels. Using the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), as a model organism and replicated small sheds with shelving units containing hidden resource patches of flour as simulated warehouses, we have begun addressing the above questions. Results of one of these experiments is presented, and the potential impact on how management programs should be implemented and evaluated in commercial food facilities is discussed.