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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF INSECT PESTS IN STORED GRAIN AND IN PROCESSED GRAIN PRODUCTS Title: Influence of substrate and relative humidity on the efficacy of three entomopathogenic fungi for the hide beetle, Dermestes maculatus

item Lord, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2011
Publication Date: March 9, 2011
Repository URL:
Citation: Lord, J.C. 2011. Influence of substrate and relative humidity on the efficacy of three entomopathogenic fungi for the hide beetle, Dermestes maculatus. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 21(4):475-483. doi:

Interpretive Summary: Hide beetles are carrion feeders that are emerging as pests of a variety of stored commodities. While their control by chemical and physical means has been investigated, biological controls are untested. Three commercially available fungal pathogens were tested for efficacy and spore survival on various surfaces on which they might be used to treat hide beetles and at four humidities. Beauveria bassiana that was produced for use in control of field and greenhouse pests was the most efficacious of the fungi. Among the tested surfaces, only wood had a negative impact on the efficacy and spore persistence of any of the fungi. Insect mortality caused by B. bassiana was greater at 43% RH than at 56, 75, or 82% RH, suggesting that desiccation stress fosters fungal infection of hide beetles. This research indicates that fungi are another non-chemical method that can be used to control insect pests in stored commodities.

Technical Abstract: Dermestes maculatus is carrion feeder that is also a pest of poultry houses, museums, silkworm culture, and many stored foods. The Hypocreales, Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Isaria fumosorosea, were tested for efficacy against D. maculatus larvae on concrete, plastic, leather, and wood surfaces. Only wood had a significant negative effect on efficacy, and B. bassiana was the most efficacious species. The conidia of all three species lost viability quickly on wood with various responses to the other surfaces. When beetle larvae exposed to deposited B. bassiana and incubated at 43, 56, 75, or 82% RH, mortality was greatest at the lowest humidity suggesting enhancement of fungal infection by desiccation stress.

Last Modified: 9/3/2015
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