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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #129702

Title: Increase in acoustic detectability of Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) larvae in stored products after eletrical stimulation

item Mankin, Richard

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2002
Publication Date: 9/1/2002
Citation: Mankin, R.W. 2002. Increase in acoustic detectability of Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Oyralidae) larvae in stored products after eletrical stimulation. Florida Entomologist. 85:524-526.

Interpretive Summary: Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL, have been conducting research to detect hidden infestations of insects in packaged goods nondestructively using acoustic techniques. The Indian meal moth, an important pest of packaged goods is small and difficult to detect through several layers of packaging. In this study, an electrical stimulation technique was developed to increase the activity levels of Indian meal moth larvae immediately before the beginning of an acoustic detection test. This technique can be a useful tool for increasing the reliability of acoustic detection techniques used to survey for insects in stored products in warehouses and department stores.

Technical Abstract: P. interpunctella larvae are important pests of stored products but they are difficult to detect by nondestructive acoustic methods through several layers of packaging. In this study, electrical stimulation was considered as a potential method for increasing the activity levels of P. interpunctella larvae, thereby increasing their acoustic detectability. Individual dog biscuits containing 4th-instar larvae were treated with a large-animal electric prod and acoustically monitored. The level of activity increased temporarily by a factor >2 and the effect was greater for larvae that were initially least active. The success of these tests indicates that electrical stimulation has potential as a method of improving the reliability of nondestructive acoustic surveys of stored product insects in packaged goods.