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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 #155706


item Mankin, Richard

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Mankin, R.W. 2004. Microwave radar detection of stored product insects. Journal of Economic Entomology. v. 97. p. 1168-1173.

Interpretive Summary: Stored product pests cause substantial damages but are difficult to detect and control. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL have tested a radar device for its capability to detect hidden infestations of insects in stored products. Insect pests of several different sizes and activity levels were tested, including the red flour beetle, saw-toothed grain beetle, cigarette beetle, and black carpet beetle. The device detected artificial infestations of these insects in boxes of corn meal and flour mix. Devices similar to this have considerable future potential as tools for integrated pest management of insects in warehouses, supermarkets, and department stores.

Technical Abstract: A microwave radar system that senses motion was tested for capability to detect hidden insects of different sizes and activity levels in stored products. In initial studies, movements of individual adults or groups of Lasioderma serricorne, Oryzaephilus surinamensis, Attagenus unicolor, and Tribolium castaneum were easily detected over distances up to 30 cm in air. Boxes of corn meal mix and flour mix were artificially infested with 5-100 insects to estimate the reliability of detection. The likelihood that a box was infested was rated by the radar system on a quantitative scale. The ratings were significantly correlated with the numbers of infesting insects. Potential uses and limitations of the radar system in management programs for stored product insect pests are discussed.