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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 Title: Using a population growth model to simulate response of Plodia interpunctella Hübner to temperature and diet

item Fontenot, Emily
item Arthur, Franklin
item Nechols, James -
item Throne, James

Submitted to: Journal of Pest Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 18, 2011
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Repository URL:
Citation: Fontenot, E.A., Arthur, F.H., Nechols, J.R., Throne, J.E. 2012. Using a population growth model to simulate response of Plodia interpunctella Hübner to temperature and diet. Journal of Pest Science. 85(1): 163-167.

Interpretive Summary: The Indianmeal moth is a damaging pest of many stored products, including grain-based products and dried fruits such as raisins. We developed a computer model to investigate the effects of temperature and quality of diet on long-term population growth of this insect. Population growth was much greater with a high quality (wheat) diet compared with a poor diet (raisins). Results show that this pest can reach high population levels even on a sub-optimal diet and at sub-optimal temperatures. This indicates that pest managers need to sample regularly to quickly treat problem areas to avoid rapid population growth.

Technical Abstract: Response to temperature and diet are major factors in the potential population growth of Plodia interpunctella Hübner, a damaging pest of many stored products. A population growth model was used to simulate population development on an optimal wheat-based diet and a sub-optimal diet of raisins at 20 to 35°C, using different starting values for initial density and life stage. Predicted population development on the two diets increased with temperature, and growth patterns were similar regardless of starting population levels at temperatures over 20°C. The predicted population levels on raisins were much less than those predicted for wheat diet, with the same general patterns of increasing populations with temperature at each starting density level or life stage. Results show that the intrinsic population dynamics for P. interpunctella even on a sub-optimal diet and at sub-optimal temperatures are such that density can increase rapidly to levels that would cause extensive economic damage.

Last Modified: 8/28/2016
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