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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

December 2013

Distribution, Abundance, and Seasonal Patterns of Stored Product Beetles in a Commercial Food Storage Facility
Several beetle species can be major pests of stored food products, but there are few studies where resident populations have been monitored for more than one year in commercial facilities. We monitored beetle populations a food warehouse for three years using different attractants. The focal points of infestation shifted during the storage period, but beetles were found even in areas of the warehouse where no food products were stored. Specific sites were identified where beetles were most prevalent. Actual numbers of beetles fluctuated depending on the amount and location of goods in the warehouse, and also show that the movement of goods into and out of the warehouse also affected insect populations. Results show how targeted monitoring of insect pests can aid in making management decisions, while taking into account the dynamic nature of insect infestations inside active commercial facilities.
 • Frank Arthur, 785.776.2783,
November 2013

Methods for Assessing Infestations of Sunflower Stem Weevil, Cylindrocopturus adspersus LeConte (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Sunflower Stems
Sunflower stem weevils reduce sunflower yields by promoting diseases, damaging vascular tissues, and causing lodging of sunflower plants. To measure weevil populations for host plant resistance or insecticide field trials, usually larvae are dissected out of stems, a process that is slow and expensive. Alternative methods to estimate weevil populations include digital radiographs (X-rays) of stem sections or rearing out overwintering stem weevils. When tested, digital X-rays of small stem pieces (15 cm above soil level) explained most of the variation in numbers of weevil larvae from dissected stem samples (50 cm), but required less than one-fifth the time of manual dissection. Using emergence boxes to estimate weevil populations was similarly time-efficient, but may not be easily related to weevils per plant because of parasitism and death of weevil larvae inside the stems. Results suggest for large field trials with sunflower stem weevils, digital X-rays provide much more cost-efficient larval population estimates, increasing researchers’ ability to detect differences among treatments.
 • James Campbell, 785.776.2717,
October 2013

Efficacy of Dinotefuran (Alpine® Spray and Dust) on Six Species of Stored Product Insects
Alpine® is a new insecticide that is being used to control urban insect pests, and is available as a pressurized spray or as a dust combined with diatomaceous earth (DE). We conducted tests with both products to determine effectiveness on different stored product insects. The dust formulation was much more effective than the spray on all adult insects tested, but larvae were easily killed by both products. Results show this new insecticide could be adopted for control of stored product insects in milling and processing facilities
 • Frank Arthur, 785.776.2783,
August 2013

Development of Phytosanitary Cold Treatments for Oranges Infested with Bactrocera invadens and B. zonata (Diptera: Tephritidae) by Comparison with Existing Cold Treatment Schedules for Ceratitis capitata] (Diptera: Tephritidae)
A new invasive fruit fly attacking a wide variety of fruits has been described in Africa (Bactrocera invadens Drew, Tsuruta and White). It is rapidly spreading throughout central Africa and threatens other continents. As part of management strategies phytosanitary treatments are needed. Cold treatments were attempted for it and another invasive fruit fly for which treatments are lacking, Bactrocera zonata, by comparison with the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), for which cold treatments exist. Oranges were infested by puncturing holes in the peel and allowing the flies to oviposit there. Results show that B. invadens is less cold tolerant than Medfly and B. zonata at 1.0±0.1°C and lend support to the use of Medfly cold treatments for B. invadens. It cannot be concluded that Medfly cold treatments could be used against B. zonata because B. zonata could be more cold tolerant than Medfly.
 • Guy Hallman, 785.776.2705,
Phytosanitary Cold Treatment for Oranges Infested with Bactrocera zonata (Diptera: Tephritidae)
The peach fruit fly (PFF) attacks many fruits and occurs from Egypt to Vietnam. Occasionally it is trapped in subtropical US states and may result in costly quarantines until it is declared eradicated. Treatments are required to export fruit hosts of the pest out of quarantined areas to non-infested areas where it could become established. This research describes a cold treatment of 18 days at 1.7°C (35°F) that was developed for infested oranges. The PFF was not found to be less cold tolerant than the Mediterranean fruit fly; therefore, treatments for the latter could not be used for PFF. PFF was found to be more susceptible to cold than the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly); therefore, treatment schedules for Mexfly could be used for PFF. However, the treatment for Mexfly requires 22 days. A shorter treatment was desired and verified for PFF when a total of 36,820 large larvae reared in oranges were treated at 1.7°C for 18 days with no larvae moving upon examination 24 hours after cold treatment. This information will be useful for developing treatments for fruits exported from quarantine areas.
 • Guy Hallman, 785.776.2705,
Variation in Susceptibility of Laboratory and Field Strains of Three Stored-Grain Insect Species to beta-Cyfluthrin and Chlorpyrifos-methyl plus Deltamethrin
Residual insecticides are often applied inside grain bins before grains are loaded into the bin or to structural surfaces supporting those bins, and there are questions regarding effectiveness of insecticides on field strains of stored product insects compared to laboratory strains. We exposed different fields strains of some common stored product insects on concrete treated with labeled insecticides, and then placed them on untreated concrete with flour. Insects survived when given food, there was variation among the insecticides regarding effectiveness for control of the field strains, and in general the field strains were harder to kill than comparable laboratory strains. Results show that no single insecticide was completely effective for control of all species and field strains, and application of a specific residual insecticide may depend largely on the intended target species.
 • Frank Arthur, 785.776.2783,
June 2013

Economic Feasibility of Methoprene Applied As a Surface Treatment and As An Aerosol Alone and In Combination with Two Other Insecticides
Insect growth regulators (IGRs) used alone or combined with other insecticides are being evaluated for control of the Indianmeal moth, a common stored product pest, but there is little research regarding economic feasibility of treatments. We used mortality data from laboratory and field studies to conduct an economic risk analysis of different treatments. The optimal insecticide was a combination of methoprene combined with the pyrethroid esfenvalerate, but more frequent treatment is needed to reduce risk when Indianmeal moth developed on an optimal diet compared to a sub-optimal diet. Results show how risk assessments can be developed to help minimize damage caused by the Indianmeal moth.
 • Frank Arthur, 785.776.2783,
March 2013

Methodology for Determining Susceptibility of Rough Rice to Rhyzopertha dominica (L.) and Sitotroga cerealella (Olivier)
There are few recent tests that evaluate susceptibility of stored rice to stored-product insects. We evaluated different long grain rice varieties for susceptibility to two major insect pests, the lesser grain borer and the Angoumois grain moth, using different methods. Adult lesser grain borers were first exposed on the rice varieties, then removed. Adult feeding caused the varieties to become more susceptible to larval feeding, which in turn increased progeny production. Some varieties were more susceptible than others to the lesser grain borer. Since adult Angoumois grain moths do not feed, we exposed mating pairs of adults to produce larvae that would infest the rice. All varieties were susceptible to damage caused by larval Angoumois grain moth, including those that did not support lesser grain borer growth and development. Results show that varietal susceptibility to stored-product insects may differ with insect species.
 • Frank Arthur, 785.776.2783,
January 2013

Potential for Hypobaric Storage as a Phytosanitary Treatment: Mortality of Rhagoletis pomonella in Apples and Effects on Fruit Quality
Storage under low oxygen conditions increases the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables and is being used increasingly for that purpose on a commercial basis. It is known experimentally to kill insects as well and has been researched as a treatment to kill insects that may be present in fruit exported to areas where those insects do not exist and might become established. However, that application is not used commercially. Low pressure is a way of achieving low oxygen storage. Although it has been researched considerably for use against stored-product insects, little research has been done for control of quarantine pests of significance on fresh fruits and vegetables and no research that we are aware of has been done for control of an internal feeder in a fruit, which are the most important and difficult to manage quarantine pests. This research investigated low pressure to kill eggs and larvae of the apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella) in apples. Infested apples were exposed to two pressures, 3.33 and 6.67 kPa (kilopascals) (0.5 to 1 pound per square inch), in jars at 25 and 30°C (77 and 86°F) for 3-120 hours. Mortality of eggs and larvae increased with increase in time of exposure. Apples exposed to 3.33 kPa at 25 and 30°C for 3 and 5 d were unaffected for aroma and taste, although in ‘Red Delicious’ but not ‘Golden Delicious’ apples the internal and external appearances were affected. Eggs and larvae were all killed at conditions that did not affect ‘Golden Delicious’. Use of low pressure for disinfestation and preservation of apples is a potential, non-chemical treatment for exported fruit.
 • Guy Hallman, 785.776.2705,

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Last Modified: 12/11/2013