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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Research Project #424678

Research Project: Improving Monitoring Systems and Development of Mating Disruption Programs for Stored Product Insects

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Project Number: 3020-43000-033-03-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2013
End Date: Mar 31, 2018

This research project will focus on two broad areas. The first area is evaluation of new trap designs and attractants to improve the monitoring of stored-product insects in food facilities. While pheromone- and kairomone-baited traps are available for the monitoring of stored-product insects, their effectiveness at attracting and capturing certain species of insects is limited. Previous research has shown how trap design changes and changes in adhesives can result in increased captures of beetles. New trap designs have been developed based on this information. There is still a critical need to evaluate new kairomone, or food-based, attractants and new pheromone lure release rates within the context of these new trap designs to optimize trap efficiency. The specific objective is to determine the optimal combinations of attractants and designs to maximize capture of beetles and ultimately to improve the monitoring of stored-product insects in food facilities. The second area is the development and evaluation of mating disruption systems for stored-product pest insects. Mating disruption involves the releasing of large amounts of pheromone into a space so that it is difficult for males to find females. Mating disruption for stored-product moths such as the Indianmeal moth is commercially available and is becoming more widely adopted in the pest management and food industries. However, analysis of the effectiveness of this treatment in commercial settings is still limited. There is also potential for the development of mating disruption as a management tool for other stored-product pests. One promising species is the warehouse beetle. The specific objectives are to evaluate the effectiveness of currently available Indianmeal moth mating disruption programs and to determine the feasibility of developing a mating disruption program to manage warehouse beetle populations. The benefit for ARS and the cooperator will be improved monitoring and pest management tools for the food industry that will contribute to reducing the risk of infestation while also reducing the use of toxic insecticides. This fits the mission of ARS and research project objectives and provides the cooperator with the information needed to develop effective commercial products.

Evaluation of new traps and attractants to improve pheromone/kairomone-based monitoring systems will involve the selection and formulation of different kairomones and kairomone combinations, and different pheromone release rates by the cooperator, and testing by ARS of stored-product insect response to these attractants using observational behavioral analysis and wind tunnel, small box, and large room bioassays. For the evaluation of mating disruption, warehouse pheromone dispensers will be developed by the cooperator, and the impact of high levels of pheromone release on warehouse beetle mating success, population growth, and colonization will be evaluated by ARS. In addition, data from field trials of mating disruption programs for Indianmeal moth will be evaluated to determine overall efficacy and identify factors that impact efficacy. The more specific research approaches used by ARS are listed below. a. Evaluation of new traps and attractants to improve pheromone/kairomone-based monitoring systems. i. Evaluation of new kairomones against the standard kairomone using wind tunnel bioassay. ii. Determine how new kairomone for red flour beetle influences the response of warehouse beetle, cigarette beetle, drugstore beetle, sawtoothed grain beetle, granary weevil, and confused flour beetle. iii. Determine the impact of pheromone release rate on red flour beetle response to kairomone using new Dome trap design. iv. Test prototype of new Dome trap design and attractants in windtunnel and large chamber (20 by 16 ft) tests. Use paired tests of new versus standard trap/attractants using red flour beetle and choice tests of new trap design and other commercially available traps. v. Evaluate behavioral interactions with new adhesives used in sticky traps. b. Initiate development of a mating disruption system for warehouse beetle. i. Conduct shed studies determining the feasibility of mating disruption for warehouse beetle: impact on mating, oviposition and population growth. 1. Release immature stages of warehouse beetle into sheds in patches of diet and evaluate the rate of population growth with and without mating disruption (up to 6 month tests so can evaluate multiple generations). Also include initially uninfested patches to determine impact of treatment on patch colonization. 2. Evaluate the behavior of males and females under mating disruption conditions and measure mating success. ii. Evaluation of mating disruption datasets from commercial food facilities, and conduct mating disruption trials in several commercial food facilities. c. Provide regular updates and annual reports on progress.