Project Number: 3020-43000-034-018-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2024
1) Develop an attract-and-kill trap and/or its components for khapra beetle in laboratory and semi-field experiments 2) Test and validate an attract-and-kill trap and/or its components for khapra beetle in semi-field and field experiments 3) Assess feasibility and develop mating disruption as a quarantine procedure for khapra beetle
Objective 1. Will focus on better formulating biopesticides that could be used in attract and kill devices. The assessment of the lethality of the agents will be primarily carried out by collaborators in Greece who have substantial experience in this field. In particular, trials in Greece will be performed with optimal strains and formulations of pathogens, which will be provided and tested using live T. granarium. Work will focus on screening additional strains of Beuvaria and creating formulations that are mixed with food baits and other attractants and ensuring that all stages of insects are tested for lethality. Furthermore, the morphological damage to the insects will be assessed over time after infection. To compliment the laboratory work conducted by APHIS and ARS, Objective 2 will involve multiple trips to semi-field and field-scale trials and work will be conducted by collaborators in Greece. These trials will be conducted at research and food facility locations with known histories of infestation by khapra beetle. Abandoned hotel rooms have been successfully used for release recapture in Greece with commercially available wall and floor traps successfully tested. Finally, Obj. 3 will employ a novel method not tested on khapra beetle prior to determine whether it can be effectively used as a quarantine method abroad or in reaction to infestations in the US. Collaborating with ARS researchers to synergize efforts, cooperators at UTH will conduct semi-field and field validations of mating disruption of khapra beetle to assess whether deploying pheromone can prevent males from finding females.