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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics


Location: Chemistry Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop improved methods for monitoring efficacy of control of stored product insect pests resulting from use of alternatives to the use of methyl bromide as structural fumigants in stored product facilities and provide improved methods population monitoring and for integrated pest management in food facilities such as wheat flour mills, rice mills, pet food facilities, and associated warehouses with the goal of eliminating the need for use of methyl bromide as a fumigant in these facilities.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Biological assay guided fractionation of naturally produced chemicals collected using various techniques will be used. Chemicals will be identified by chromatographic, spectroscopic and microdegradative methods and synthesized using organic synthesis procedures. Synthetic samples will be formulated using physicochemical principals so as to release ratios and amounts of chemicals identical to those released by natural sources and tested in biological assays.

3. Progress Report:
During the life of the project research resulted in the identification of new kairomone based attractants for larvae and adults of the Indian meal moth. These attractants were identified as volatiles released by wheat and are the result of degradation of long chain fatty acids due to storage. The discoveries resulted in USDA obtaining two patents for use of the attractants to monitor and control the Indian meal moth. Additionally, a new light based trapping system for red flour beetle and other crawling insects was developed and patented. The system is based on a novel trap design based on behavior of the pests and on the use of light emitting diodes emitting light at 300nm. The trapping system is significantly more effective than current technology used to monitor populations of stored product pest beetles and is highly effective in attracting larvae of the Small Hive beetle in honey houses. The Small Hive beetles is an highly devastating pest of honeybee hives and a significant pest in honey houses. Also, research has shown that flour volatiles are highly attractive to the Sawtoothed grain beetle. While we have not identified the active chemicals they have great potential for use in monitoring this pest of stored products.

4. Accomplishments
1. Development and technology transfer of new methods to monitor stored product insect pests. Stored product insects are intrinsically difficult to monitor in mills and storage facilities and there is a definite need to develop highly effective methods to detect “hot spots” of infestation so as to reduce the need for fumigation of entire facilities. Patenting of new attractants for larvae of the Indian meal moth (US patent 8,088,366; Attractant for Indian meal moth larvae) and adults (US patent 8,092,789; Indian meal moth attractant) have provided the industry with the first new natural chemical based attractants for this pest to eve been developed in 30 years. The new trapping system for stored product and other insects based on light and behavioral characteristics of the insects (US patent 8,276,314; Terrestrial arthropod trap) is a highly significant advance in technology needed to monitor beetle pests of stored grain and milling facilities because it outperforms currently in use by four fold. These patents have great value in that they provide precise and highly effective new methods to monitor precisely the “hot spots” of infestation by both moth and beetle pests of stored grains.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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