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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 #436972

Research Project: Improvement of Stored Product Insect Monitoring and Mating Disruption Programs

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Project Number: 3020-43000-034-009-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2019
End Date: Jul 31, 2023

There are two broad objectives to this research project. The first is to improve the monitoring of stored product insects in food facilities through the improvement of trap designs and attractants. This represents a continuation of previous collaborative research and if focused primarily on improving the capture of major pest species such as the red flour beetle, cigarette beetle, and warehouse beetle. New food-based attractants (kairomones) hold considerable promise to improve trap effectiveness, but require careful behavioral evaluation to determine their potential. Adhesives used in traps also have an important role and it is necessary to evaluate effectiveness at capturing insects, but also how insects respond behaviorally to encountering the adhesives. The second objective is the development and evaluation of mating disruption systems for stored-product pest insects. The specific objectives are to evaluate the effectiveness of currently available mating disruption programs – both using field data and detailed behavioral evaluations of insect response to high pheromone concentration - 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 of food while reducing the use of insecticides. This fits the mission of ARS and CRIS 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, and testing stored-product insect response to these attractants using observational behavioral analysis and wind tunnel, small box, and large room bioassays. Specifically, will evaluate new kairomones for their effectiveness in attracting a range of stored product insects species such as the red flour beetle, cigarette beetle, warehouse beetle. Also evaluate trap adhesives to determine how stored product insects interact with edges and ability of adhesives to hold insects after encountering them. This research will help in the identification of the most effective materials. For the evaluation of mating disruption, warehouse beetle pheromone dispensers will be developed and the impact of high levels of pheromone release on warehouse beetle mating success, population growth, and colonization will be evaluated. Laboratory and small scale shed assessments of the impact of high pheromone levels on cigarette beetle and Indianmeal moth behavior will also be conducted to identify alternative modes of action for mating disruption. This will include effects on mating success, impact of delayed mating on progeny production, and impacts on female behavior. In addition, data from field trials of mating disruption programs for Indianmeal moth collected by Trece and other collaborators will be analyzed to determine the effectiveness of new release technologies and to identify factors that impact efficacy.