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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGY, SAMPLING, AND MODELING OF INSECT PESTS OF STORED GRAIN, PROCESSING FACILITIES, AND WAREHOUSES

Location: Stored Product Insect Research Unit

Title: Long Term Monitoring of Tribolium castaneum in Two Flour Mills: Seasonal Patterns and Impact of Fumigation

Authors
item Campbell, James
item Toews, Michael -
item Arthur, Franklin
item Arbogast, Richard

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 13, 2010
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Citation: Campbell, J.F., Toews, M.D., Arthur, F.H., Arbogast, R.T. 2010. Long Term Monitoring of Tribolium castaneum in Two Flour Mills: Seasonal Patterns and Impact of Fumigation. Journal of Economic Entomology. 103: 991-1001. DOI: 10.1603/EC09347.

Interpretive Summary: Red flour beetle is a major pest of flour mills, and management has typically relied on fumigation with methyl bromide; but use of this fumigant is being phased out worldwide under the Montreal Protocol. Data on the impact of fumigation on pest populations is limited, and this has hampered the adoption of alternative treatments. Data from five to six years of red flour beetle monitoring in two flour mills was used to evaluate the impact of fumigations on pest populations and the influence of season on efficacy. Two mills differed from each other in mean number of beetles captured per trap and proportion of traps with captures of one or more beetles, and within one of the mills the mean number of beetles captured was reduced following adoption of a more intensive integrated pest management (IPM) program. Mean number of beetles per trap and proportion of traps with captures decreased by 85% and 71%, respectively, following fumigation. Beetle captures immediately after fumigation tended to increase as captures in the period immediately prior to fumigation increased. Inside temperature and reduction in beetle captures was not affected by season. Our results provide baseline information on pest populations and fumigation efficacy to which methyl bromide alternatives can be compared and provides information that can be used to help optimize fumigation and IPM programs.

Technical Abstract: Data from long-term Tribolium castaneum pheromone trapping programs in two flour mills was used to evaluate the impact of structural fumigations (n=23) on pest populations. The two mills differed in mean number of beetles captured and proportion of traps with captures of one or more beetles, but in one of the mills the mean number of beetles captured was reduced after implementing a more intensive IPM program. Mean number of beetles per trap and proportion of traps with captures increased by 53±8% and 25±5% from one monitoring period to the next, but decreased by 85±5% and 71±5% when fumigation occurred between periods, respectively. Mean number of beetles per trap and proportion of traps with captures immediately after fumigation were both positively correlated with number captured per trap and proportion of traps with captures in the monitoring period immediately prior to fumigation. Mean daily air temperature inside the mill fluctuated with the season, and, although always warmer than the outside temperature the relative difference varied with season. Relationship between inside and outside temperature could be explained well by an exponential equation with the parameters a=20.4, b=2.2, and c=-15.2 (r2=0.698, which is 94% of the maximum r2 obtainable). Although outside temperature differed between spring and fall fumigations, inside temperature and reduction in beetle captures was not significantly affected by season. A better understanding of pest populations and the impact of structural treatments within commercial food facilities is critical for improving the management of pest populations and for the adoption of methyl bromide alternatives.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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