Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics



2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Evaluate efficacy of potential alternatives to the use of methyl bromide as a structural treatment and improve Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs for stored-product insect pests in food facilities such as wheat flour mills, rice mills, pet food facilities, and their associated warehouses with the goal of reducing the number of methyl bromide critical use exemptions (CUEs) requested or the amount of methyl bromide used.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
A four part approach, based on priorities identified by stakeholders at the NP308 program review, will be used to meet this objective. (1) Obtain information on the field efficacy of alternative structural treatments, such as sulfuryl fluoride or heat, compared with methyl bromide. (2) Evaluate the impact of some alternative tactics, such as reduced-risk aerosol insecticides or targeted treatment with residual contact insecticides, as part of an IPM or systems approach to eliminate the need for, or reduce the frequency of, fumigations or other structural treatments. (3) Develop improved monitoring tools and strategies to evaluate the need for and effectiveness of different management tactics to improve the implementation of an IPM program (in association with Gainesville). (4) Develop models using the above information with which to determine optimal management strategies using methyl bromide alternatives.

3. Progress Report:
Under Objective 1, significant progress was made in understanding stored-product insect population dynamics in commercial food facilities and the impact of treatment with alternatives to the structural fumigant methyl bromide (MB) such as the fumigant sulfuryl fluoride (SF), high temperature treatments, or Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs. Stored-product insect monitoring before and after treatment was conducted in multiple commercial food facilities. Analysis of SF fumigation efficacy against red flour beetle in rice mills was conducted using a large dataset collected earlier. Because pest dispersal behavior contributes to avoiding treatments and recolonizing after treatment, flight behavior of the red flour beetle was evaluated. Research under this objective is supplying critical information to food facility managers and to the pest control industry on fumigation efficacy and factors that impact efficacy, and also providing information to validate population models developed in Objective 4. Under Objective 2, significant progress has been made on determining the impact of reduced-risk insecticides on pest insect populations. Studies were conducted to evaluate residual efficacy of insecticides, including determining how sealing concrete surfaces increases length of time applied insecticides are effective and how presence of food material impacts the effectiveness of aerosol insecticide applications. Infrared radiation, a non-chemical tactic, was evaluated against different red flour beetle life stages. Studies examining impact of regular aerosol applications of reduced-risk insecticides on population growth of red flour beetles in small-scale storage facilities were completed. Studies evaluating the spatial pattern in aerosol insecticide deposition and ability to disperse under obstructions were conducted. More effective use of these insecticides as part of an IPM program could reduce the need to conduct structural fumigations, facilitating the phase-out of MB. Under Objective 4, to better understand how different alternatives to MB affect population rebound following treatment, a simulation model for red flour beetle population dynamics in flour mills was refined with the inclusion of heat, aerosol insecticide, and sanitation treatments, in addition to MB and SF fumigation, in the model. Development of a simulation model for warehouse beetle populations was initiated. An Indianmeal moth simulation model was used to evaluate the impact of timing and frequency of applications of different insecticides on growth of populations. These models will provide important information for managers to determine optimum integrated pest management strategies for food facilities. The research conducted in this project will contribute to the development of more effective pest management programs with the potential benefit of reducing the number of MB critical use exemptions requested or the amount of MB used.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Semeao, A.A., Campbell, J.F., Beeman, R.W., Lorenzen, M.D., Whitworth, R.J., Sloderbeck, P.E. 2012. Genetic structure of Tribolium castaneum (Coleptera: Tenebrionidae) populations in mills. Environmental Entomology. 41(1): 188-199. doi:

Perez-Mendoza, J., Campbell, J.F., Throne, J.E. 2011. Influence of age, mating status, sex, quantity of food, and long-term food deprivation on red flour beetle (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) flight initiation. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104(6): 2078-2086. Doi:

Khamis, M., Subramanyam, B., Dogan, H., Flinn, P.W., Gwirtz, J.A. 2011. Effects of flameless catalytic infrared radiation on Sitophilus oryzae (L.) life stages. Journal of Stored Products Research. 47(3):173-178.

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.

Semeao, A.A., Campbell, J.F., Whitworth, R.J., Sloderbeck, P.E. 2012. Influence of environmental and physical factors on Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) trap captures in a flour mill. Journal of Economic Entomology. 105(2): 686-702.

Wijayaratne, L., Fields, P.G., Arthur, F.H. 2012. Residual efficacy of methoprene for control of Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) larvae at different temperatures on varnished wood, concrete, and wheat. Journal of Economic Entomology. 105(2): 718-725.

Arthur, F.H., Fontenot, E.A., Campbell, J.F. 2011. Evaluation of catmint oil and hydrogenated catmint oil as repellents for Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum. Journal of Insect Science. 11:128, available online:

Khamis, M., Subramanyam, B., Flinn, P.W., Dogan, H., Gwirtz, J.A. 2011. Susceptibility of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) life stages to flameless catalytic infrared radiation. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104(1): 325-330.

Wijayaratne, L., Fields, P., Arthur, F.H. 2012. Effect of methoprene on the progeny production of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Pest Management Science. 68(2): 217-224. doi:

Brijwani, M., Subramanyam, B., Flinn, P.W., Langemeier, M.R., Hartzer, M. 2012. Susceptibility of Tribolium castaneum life stages exposed to elevated temperatures during heat treatments of a pilot flour mill: influence of sanitation, temperatures attained among mills floors, and costs. Journal of Economic Entomology. 105(2): 709-717.

Brijwani, M., Subramanyam, B., Flinn, P.W. 2012. Impact of varying levels of sanitation on mortality of Tribolium castaneum eggs and adults during heat treatment of a pilot flour mill. Journal of Economic Entomology. 105(2): 703-708.

Sutton, A.E., Arthur, F.H., Zhu, K.Y., Campbell, J.F., Murray, L.W. 2011. Residual efficacy of synergized pyrethrin + methoprene aerosol against larvae of Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Journal of Stored Products Research. 47(4): 399-406.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page