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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Low Temperature Storage on Survival and Reproduction of Indianmeal Moth (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

Authors
item Johnson, Judy
item Valero, Karen
item Hannel, Mark

Submitted to: Crop Protection Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 6, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Processors of dried fruits and nuts rely upon chemical fumigants to control insect infestations of these products in storage. Loss of the fumigant methyl bromide will require the use of alternative methods. Because no single method is a complete substitute for fumigation, integrated control programs combining short-term disinfestation techniques with long-term protective methods have been suggested. Low temperature storage is one component of an integrated control program for Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hubner), a severe pest of postharvest dried fruits and nuts. Because reinfestation of clean product is most likely from adult moths, we studied the effect of 10C on adult longevity and fertility, and on egg survival. Long-term exposure to 10C lengthened the life of adults; 50% mortality was reached after 49 days of exposure, almost 4 times the average adult life-span of 13 days at 27C. Adult mortality reached 90% after 70 days of exposure. Exposure to 10C for greater than 25 days reduced egg production by half and reduced the number of viable eggs by 90%. Eggs were most susceptible to 10C; the exposure estimated to obtain 95% egg mortality was 11.6 days. From this it was estimated that clean product that has been under storage at 10C and undisturbed for at least 4 weeks should be relatively free of Indianmeal moth.

Technical Abstract: Low temperature storage is one component of an integrated control program suggested as an alternative to methyl bromide fumigation for Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hubner), in postharvest dried fruits and nuts. Long-term exposure to 10C lengthened the life of adults; 50% mortality was reached after 49 days of exposure, almost 4 times the average adult life- span of 13 days at 10C. Adult mortality reached 90% after 70 days of exposure. Exposure to 10C for greater than 25 days reduced egg production by half and reduced the number of viable eggs by 90%. Eggs were most susceptible to 10C; the exposure estimated to obtain 90% egg mortality was 11.6 days. From this it was estimated that clean product that has been under storage at 10C and undisturbed for at least 4 weeks should be relatively free of Indianmeal moth.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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